Nationals GM confirms Eaton’s torn ACL, won’t rule out early return

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo is nothing if not an optimist.

Rizzo and the Nationals confirmed Sunday that outfielder Adam Eaton suffered a “full thickness” tear of the ACL in his left knee while running to first base during Friday’s game, as well as a torn meniscus and high ankle sprain.

It’s estimated that Eaton faces a six-to-nine month recovery following surgery, meaning the 28-year-old’s 2017 season is likely finished. But Rizzo refused to rule out a quicker return depending on how the surgery goes, according to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post. A date for Eaton’s surgery has not been scheduled.

The GM added that he’s “comfortable” replacing Eaton internally rather than looking at a trade, according to MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.

Related: Nationals can – and will – survive without Eaton

Eaton, acquired in a blockbuster winter trade from the Chicago White Sox for three top prospects, was in the midst of a stellar debut month in Washington, posting a .854 OPS with 10 extra-base hits and three stolen bases through his first 23 games in a Nationals uniform.

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