Ramos will need two knee surgeries (plus Lidge, Mattheus updates)

The damage to Wilson Ramos' shredded right knee is so severe, it turns out he'll need two surgeries to fully repair it.

Ramos recently underwent surgery on the meniscus in the knee, but doctors could not repair the torn ACL at this time. Manager Davey Johnson said doctors will need to wait to operate on the catcher's ACL.

Johnson said he fully expects Ramos to be ready for spring training next year, but there's no chance of the 24-year-old returning this season.

There is some positive news to pass along on reliever Brad Lidge, who said that he's ahead of schedule in his rehab from hernia surgery.

While the Nationals were on their recent road trip, Lidge was down in Viera, Fla., throwing to hitters. He said he "felt great" during his sessions on the mound, and is now hoping to return to the Nats for their series at Toronto from June 11-13.

Lidge will pitch in rehab games Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week, he said. He has been pleasantly surprised with both his stuff and control so far, as has Nationals rehab coordinator Mark Grater.

"He was kind of saying no offense, but he thought that I looked better than when I was pitching (in the majors)," Lidge said with a laugh.

Ryan Mattheus (plantar fasciitis) said there's some soreness in his injured left foot, but no pain. He would like to return as soon as he's eligible to come off the disabled list next week, but the Nationals will play things carefully with him.

Trainers are concerned that Mattheus could aggravate the foot while coming off the mound to make a play in the field, so they plan to wait until there's no chance of the injury worsening before letting Mattheus pitch again.

As a result, Mattheus will likely need a rehab assignment before he returns to the Nats, Johnson said.

Infielder Mark DeRosa said his injured left oblique feels pretty good during batting practice, and he'll likely be sent on a rehab assignment to Single-A Potomac in the next couple days.

Finally, catcher Sandy Leon (high right ankle sprain) will be able to start catching again in about a week, Johnson said.

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