For a month after he severely injured his right knee last May, Wilson Ramos held out hope that the damage wasn’t so serious. The Washington Nationals catcher prayed he could return to the field later in the season. The swelling had subsided, he said, and he was walking around with little pain and only a slight limp.

A visit to Richard Steadman, a renowned knee surgeon, in Vail, Colo., in June dashed Ramos’s optimism. With his agent, Gustavo Marcano, at his side, Ramos learned that the injury would require not one but two surgeries and he would, without a doubt, miss the rest of the season.