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Nats, Murphy optimistic he'll be ready for 2018

MLB.com @JamalCollier

WASHINGTON -- Nationals general manager and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo said the team is optimistic that Daniel Murphy will be ready for Opening Day after the second baseman underwent successful surgery last month to repair the articular cartilage in his right knee.

"That's me telling you that on Nov. 2," Rizzo said. "I've been in contact with him on several subjects. He's feeling good. He's moving around. And he feels optimistic that he'll be ready, so that makes me feel optimistic."

WASHINGTON -- Nationals general manager and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo said the team is optimistic that Daniel Murphy will be ready for Opening Day after the second baseman underwent successful surgery last month to repair the articular cartilage in his right knee.

"That's me telling you that on Nov. 2," Rizzo said. "I've been in contact with him on several subjects. He's feeling good. He's moving around. And he feels optimistic that he'll be ready, so that makes me feel optimistic."

Murphy had debridement and microfracture surgery performed by Dr. Timothy Kremchek, an orthopedic surgeon in Ohio, following the 2017 season, in which he posted a slash line of .322/.384/.543 with 23 home runs in his second straight All-Star campaign since joining the Nationals.

However, near the end of the year, it appeared that Murphy looked a little bit off, and although the injury never forced him to the disabled list, Rizzo acknowledged it was hampering Murphy down the stretch.

"It wasn't to the point where it was debilitating, but he wasn't himself," Rizzo said. "I don't want to put a kind of percentage on it, but this game is hard enough to play when you're feeling good and your body is reacting well. Suffice to say, he grinded through it. We needed him in the lineup and he played."

For reference, Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner had a similar surgery after the 2013 season and then went on to play more than 100 games and hit .340 in '14.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Washington Nationals, Daniel Murphy