On a day when they also announced that manager Dusty Baker will not be back, the Washington Nationals slipped out the news that All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy had knee surgery Friday.
“Murphy underwent successful surgery (debridement and microfracture) today to repair damage to the articular cartilage in his right knee. Dr. Timothy Kremchek performed the procedure. Murphy’s rehab will begin immediately and will progress throughout the offseason,” the Nationals said in a press release.
It’s the microfracture that is the significant part of the process. The challenges with microfracture surgery — when a surgeon creates multiple small hole in the surface of a joint, often drilling through the kneecap so blood flows into an area where cartilage has been worn away — is that rehabilitation has to wait until the bone heals, unlike ACL reconstruction. When an ACL is repaired, the rehabilitation process can start the next day.
Murphy hit .322 in his second season with the Nationals. He struggled in the postseason, hitting just .211 in the National League Division Series.
The Nationals open the 2018 season March 29 in Cincinnati.
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