WASHINGTON (AP) -Nationals catcher Paul Lo Duca was scheduled to have surgery on his left knee Monday to repair what his agent called a minor meniscus tear.
Lo Duca will see a team doctor on Monday ``for further testing,'' general manager Jim Bowden wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Sunday.
``If an operation is indicated,'' Bowden continued, ``it will be arthroscopic and the estimated recovery time would be 4-6 weeks, with the expectation he could be ready for opening day.''
Washington's pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training in Viera, Fla., on Feb. 15, which is about 2 1/2 weeks away.
Earlier Sunday, Lo Duca's agent, Andrew Mongelluzzi, wrote to AP: ``Paul will have surgery in the morning. I am told that it is a minor meniscus tear.''
Mongelluzzi also said Lo Duca could need as many as six weeks for a full recovery.
Bowden said an MRI showed a ``possible tear.''
Lo Duca, who signed a $5 million, one-year deal as a free agent this offseason, hurt himself during a workout last week and then had an MRI, the Nationals announced on Friday.
Lo Duca hit .272 with nine homers and 54 RBIs for the Mets last season, his second in New York. Washington signed him in December, less than two weeks after trading veteran catcher Brian Schneider to the Mets.
Lo Duca, who will turn 36 in April, and Nationals manager Manny Acta were in New York together in 2006, when Acta was the Mets third-base coach.
In 10 major league seasons with the Dodgers, Marlins and Mets, Lo Duca has batted .288 with 80 homers and 466 RBIs. He was a four-time All-Star from 2003-06.
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