Lingering knee problems will likely keep Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy out for the start of the regular season.
"I think it's reasonable to expect I won't be in the Opening Day lineup," Murphy said Wednesday, via MASN Sports' Mark Zuckerman.
The Nationals will start the season March 29 at Great American Ball Park against the Cincinnati Reds.
Murphy underwent microfracture surgery on his knee in October and spent the offseason rehabbing to get back onto the field.
The 32-year-old is entering his third year with the Nationals and had only dealt with minor injuries during this stretch, playing 142 and 144 games in the past two seasons.
While major issues limited him earlier in his career with the Mets, he has avoided large absences since joining Washington in 2016. He also evolved from a solid contributor to an MVP candidate.
In his first two years with the Nats, Murphy hit .334 with 48 home runs and a league-best 90 doubles, earning two All-Star appearances and two Silver Slugger awards.
Any extended time away would be damaging for the Nationals, but they do have a contingency in place at second base after re-signing Howie Kendrick this offseason.