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Zimmerman likely to have surgery after breaking bone in wrist

WASHINGTON -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman broke a
bone in his left wrist while swinging a bat last weekend and is
scheduled to have surgery Wednesday.

His recovery is expected to take from four to six weeks, which
still would be long before spring training begins in February.

"We're kind of lucky. It's a perfect time for it to happen, if
anything like this was ever to happen," Zimmerman said Tuesday in
a telephone interview.

"My hand has hurt before. Anybody who plays professional
baseball plays with bangs and bruises," he added. "I don't know
if I kind of cracked it before or during the season -- or the past
two seasons -- and it led up to it finally totally cracking."

Zimmerman led the Nationals with 24 homers and 91 RBIs while
batting .266 in 2007, his second full season in the majors.

He finished second in voting for NL Rookie of the Year in 2006.

Zimmerman said he worked out with some friends near his home in
Virginia on Sunday and later that day, while resting on his couch,
"felt something sort of weird and had some swelling."

He was scheduled to meet with a hand specialist Wednesday; if
that doctor agrees surgery to remove the broken part of his hamate
bone is the right solution, Zimmerman said, his operation would be
late in the day.

If all goes well, he could be swinging a bat again in as soon as
four weeks.

"As far as the offseason, this shouldn't prevent me from doing
anything. Maybe it's better for me, so my hand won't be bothering
me at all," Zimmerman said. "Every so often my hand would act up
and then it would go away. Hopefully I won't have to deal with it
anymore."