Catcher A.J. Ellis has knee surgery

Updated: April 9, 2014, 2:17 AM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- Catcher A.J. Ellis underwent arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and will be out four to six weeks, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced.

Ellis, the Dodgers' starting catcher, hurt his knee while trying to score from second base on an Andre Ethier single in Saturday's loss to the San Francisco Giants. The team said Ellis had a 20-minute arthroscopic procedure to clean up the medial meniscus in his left knee and will begin his rehabilitation Wednesday.

The club recalled catcher Tim Federowicz from Triple-A Albuquerque and started him against Detroit's Max Scherzer in the opener of a two-game interleague series. Drew Butera was Federowicz's backup.

"A.J. is the kind of guy that from a preparation standpoint has been what we've asked -- to know what he's doing when he puts the fingers down, to know why, to understand our pitchers and all the matchups and everything else," manager Don Mattingly said.

"We ask a lot of our catchers, and A.J. has bought into that. So we're going to miss that, no question. But he's going to be back here tomorrow, and he's the kind of guy that will be doing everything to help Fed and Drew out and still be a part of what we're doing."

The surgery was performed by team orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Ellis started each of the Dodgers' first seven games before the injury. He underwent the same procedure on the same knee after the 2012 season.

Federowicz appeared in 56 games with the Dodgers last season, hitting four home runs and driving in 16 runs, and he has played in 66 major league games with Los Angeles since making his big league debut in 2011. He was optioned to Albuquerque on March 22 but remained with the big club on its extended roster for the two-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia.

Los Angeles kept Butera on the active big league roster because he could be sent to the minor leagues without clearing waivers -- unlike Federowicz.

"I think it just tests our depth," Mattingly said. "We feel like Fed and Drew are capable to get through this stretch with out A.J. ... But I do think we're capable of winning games and doing what we have to do."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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