Wilson Ramos did something to his hand toward the end of Spring Training, as Washington Nationals' bench coach Randy Knorr told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s The Sports Junkies after the Nats' 26-year-old catcher suffered a broken hamate bone in his left hand during the first game of the season. He apparently broke the hamate bone fouling off a pitch in the season opener in New York. Ramos has dealt with injuries in each of the last three seasons.
He underwent surgery soon after the break was found and as Nats' skipper Matt Williams explained after the procedure, the catcher was likely going to miss 4-5 weeks as he recovered from the latest injury.
General Manager Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier last week that Ramos was working hard to get back out on the field. "[He's] coming along," Rizzo said. "He got the sutures out and he's beginning his hand exercises and strengthening and will be beginning his bat manipulation drills soon and we're hoping to have him back in a couple of more weeks."
Matt Williams updated reporters on the rehab process for the Nationals' no.1 catcher this afternoon.
"He's swinging a bat a little bit," Williams said. "It's a modified bat where they take the weight out of it. But he's able to hit some balls off the tee. He's working on strength. They're working on the scar, because the scar mattes down every night, so they try to get that as pliable as possible. When they take the bone out, the bone is still raw. So, it's really nothing wrong with him at this point, it's more pain tolerance and stuff like that, but at least he's got a bat in his hand. He's able to grip stuff and start to do some strength stuff. So it's good. He's right on schedule, maybe a little bit ahead, actually."
While Ramos is a little ahead of schedule, there's still a lot of work to be done before he returns to the lineup and Williams said he wants the catcher to get as many at bats as necessary.
"It's still a month-ish," Williams said of the time Ramos has already missed. "Timing is not there. If you take a month off it's just not there, so I like to get him as many at bats as we can so he's comfortable, so when he does come back, he feels good at the plate and his timing is there and all of that. But as of right now there's no real issue with it other than what he can tolerate.
"He's on his way. He's been working hard otherwise too. He's training every day. So I don't think that will be an issue. I think he'll be in shape and ready to go with his legs and everything else, so it's a matter of timing."
Ramos missed time with two hamstring injuries last season after an injury-shortened campaign in 2012 in which he suffered a torn ACL and meniscus in his left knee.
The Nationals were hoping to keep the catcher healthy this season, but just one game into the 2014 campaign, Ramos went down again.
• Fister: Williams was also asked about rehabbing right-hander Doug Fister this afternoon.
Fister's working his way back from a minor right lat strain. Here's what Williams said about Fister, who will throw again tomorrow:
"He's five days between starts, so... tomorrow. He's good. Up it to three and 45-ish, but he's on a regular five-day rotation."