Four months after he underwent debridement microfracture surgery, the Washington Nationals are now coming closer to realizing second basemen Daniel Murphy will not be ready for Opening Day against the Cincinnati Reds. Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post first reported the news, which can be found here.
Washington' officials initially expressed optimism for Murphy making a return to the field before or at worst for Washington's first game of the season in Cincinnati. Now per Janes' report, Murphy seems unlikely to be out on the field for that game.
The news shouldn't be all that surprising given Murphy is still in the midst of rehabbing from the knee surgery and Washington's depth in the middle infield. The team can slide Howie Kendrick as a short-term solution at second base to give Murphy more time to rest and make sure he is at 100 percent. The 32-year-old enters a contract year and will want to be at full health to try and put up the best numbers he possibly can to improve his chances of landing one last major payday.
The 10-day disabled list could come into play at some point for the Nationals, which is something fantasy owners will need to consider. While Murphy is a top-five second baseman in our 2018 fantasy rankings, he will carry the medical risk. This will likely be another season under 145 games played for Murphy and if Washington decides to play it even more cautiously early in the year, fantasy owners May only get 130-135 games out of the 32-year-old.