It's official -- the Washington Nationals won't get starting catcher Wilson Ramos back until next season.
Ramos told reporters before Wednesday's 7-4 victory over the Pirates that he'll be having surgery to repair the torn ACL in his right knee in about two to three weeks and won't be back this year.
"They said it's normal surgery," Ramos said in The Washington Post. "I think I'm not coming back this season. But I will be good for next season."
Ramos said he expects to be back and ready to go next spring following the surgery and subsequent rehab.
Jesus Flores has taken over as the starting catcher, and the big question for the Nationals now is how he can handle the job.
Flores had to battle through shoulder problems that kept him off the field for about two years -- he didn't play a game in 2010 before getting back for 30 last year.
So the question is if Flores can handle the rigors of being the starting catcher. The Nationals called up Sandy Leon from Double-A Harrisburg to be his backup, but the rookie suffered a high ankle sprain in his first game and went on the 15-day disabled list.
The Nationals now have Carlos Maldonado as Flores' backup. If Washington still stays in the pennant race, the team would likely look at making some kind of move to bring in another catcher.