Atlanta Braves catcher Evan Gattis underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in October.
Gattis told Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the surgery was to remove a dime-sized bone chip which had been floating around in his knee.
“The doctor did a really good job,” Gattis said. “I came back good. But I had a fragment floating around for, like, the last seven years. So I had that cleaned out, just smoothed it out.”
Gattis had the arthroscopic procedure the week after the Braves’ division-series loss to the Dodgers.
He made more starts in left field (47) than at catcher (38) as a rookie in 2013, but Gattis started 21 of the first 30 games of the season at catcher – including as many as five in a row — while perennial All-Star Brian McCann was recovering from shoulder surgery. McCann is a Yankee now, and Gattis is the Braves’ primary catcher, after leading major league rookies with 65 RBIs last season and ranking second with 21 homers.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has said he plans to catch Gattis about 100-110 games, with veteran backup Gerald Laird catching most of the others. Gonzalez wants to be careful not to overwork Gattis, who could get occasional starts at first base and a few in left field if needed, but will mostly rest or pinch-hit on days he’s not behind the plate.
The manager wanted to be sure Gattis felt OK after catching consecutive games for the first time this spring.
“It should be fine,” Gattis said Friday. “It’s just a matter of watching it. I ice both knees every day, just because. So they won’t get swollen or sore. It’s preventive. A routine to be able to play the next day.”
The procedure was to remove a dime-sized bone chip that Gattis said had been “floating around” in his knee since around 2006. “The doctor did a really good job,” Gattis said. “I came back good. But I had a fragment floating around for, like, the last seven years. So I had that cleaned out, just smoothed it out.” Gattis hadn’t caught consecutive games this spring until Thursday, and now we know why the Braves were careful with him. The Braves plan to catch Gattis about 100-110 games this season while also giving him occasional time at first base and the outfield.