These days, the Nationals' clubhouse isn't the most pleasant of places.
That has nothing to do with the team's win-loss record, recent performance or the overall clubhouse atmosphere, which has been pretty cheery this season.
It's just that everywhere you turn, there are injured guys slowly trudging around.
Today, Wilson Ramos awkwardly maneuvered through a hallway on crutches, just days after tearing his ACL. Fellow catcher Sandy Leon limped up to his locker with his right ankle still in a heavy brace and a sad smile on his face. Michael Morse and Drew Storen both threw on the field pregame and are itching to return, while infielder Mark DeRosa hasn't been able to do all that much recently.
Ramos talked with reporters today for the first time since suffering the right knee injury on Saturday. The team had said there was a chance the 24-year-old catcher would be able to return this season, but considering the extent of the injury, Ramos confirmed he won't be back anytime in 2012.
"I think I'm not coming back this season," he said. "But I will be good for next season."
Surgery on the knee hasn't been scheduled yet, as doctors are going to wait for the swelling in Ramos' knee to go down before they operate. The surgery will likely come in the next two or three weeks, Ramos said.
It's been a rough handful of months for Ramos, who was kidnapped this offseason in his native Venezuela and spent two days in captivity before being rescued. Ramos had been playing well prior to suffering the injury on Saturday, hitting two home runs in a four-game span and getting his average up to .265.
The good news - if there is any here - is that just the ACL was torn and no other ligaments in Ramos' knee were damaged. Ramos said he plans to remain in the Washington area this season to rehab the knee.
"I will stay here before I get surgery," Ramos said. "And when I get surgery, I want to stay here. I don't want to go back to Venezuela. It's better if I stay here, bring my mom, my family, to take care of me."
Leon, like Ramos, will stay in the area these next couple weeks as he works back from a high right ankle sprain suffered on a collision at the plate on Monday.
He's been told he could start working out in about two weeks, and might be able to return four weeks from now.
Meanwhile, Morse (who is slowly working back from a strained lat) threw today, making about 60 throws from 30-40 feet. He recently took dry swings in the cage and is waiting on word from the Nats' trainers about what his next step toward recovery will be.
Morse said he really enjoyed getting a chance to throw again (at least without trainers getting angry at him for trying to sneak in throws without permission), although he said it felt strange to get back into it again.
"I felt like a monkey riding a bike," Morse said with a laugh.