WASHINGTON (AP) -Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman broke a bone in his left wrist while swinging a bat last weekend and is scheduled to have surgery Wednesday.
His recovery is expected to take from four to six weeks, which still would be long before spring training begins in February.
``We're kind of lucky. It's a perfect time for it to happen, if anything like this was ever to happen,'' Zimmerman said Tuesday in a telephone interview.
``My hand has hurt before. Anybody who plays professional baseball plays with bangs and bruises,'' he added. ``I don't know if I kind of cracked it before or during the season - or the past two seasons - and it led up to it finally totally cracking.''
Zimmerman led the Nationals with 24 homers and 91 RBIs while batting .266 in 2007, his second full season in the majors.
He finished second in voting for NL Rookie of the Year in 2006.
Zimmerman said he worked out with some friends near his home in Virginia on Sunday and later that day, while resting on his couch, ``felt something sort of weird and had some swelling.''
He was scheduled to meet with a hand specialist Wednesday; if that doctor agrees surgery to remove the broken part of his hamate bone is the right solution, Zimmerman said, his operation would be late in the day.
If all goes well, he could be swinging a bat again in as soon as four weeks.
``As far as the offseason, this shouldn't prevent me from doing anything. Maybe it's better for me, so my hand won't be bothering me at all,'' Zimmerman said. ``Every so often my hand would act up and then it would go away. Hopefully I won't have to deal with it anymore.''

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