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Dodgers catcher AJ Ellis has left knee surgery

(AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

By JOE RESNICK

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Tuesday and is expected to be out four to six weeks.

Ellis had a 20-minute operation performed by Dodgers physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache to repair the medial meniscus in his knee. Ellis is expected to rejoin his teammates on Wednesday and begin rehabilitation.

The club recalled catcher Tim Federowicz from Triple-A Albuquerque and started him against Detroit's Max Scherzer in the opener of a two-game interleague series. Drew Butera was Federowicz's backup.

"A.J. is the kind of guy that from a preparation standpoint has been what we've asked - to know what he's doing when he puts the fingers down, to know why, to understand our pitchers and all the matchups and everything else," manager Don Mattingly said.

"We ask a lot of our catchers, and A.J. has bought into that. So we're going to miss that, no question. But he's going to be back here tomorrow, and he's the kind of guy that will be doing everything to help Fed and Drew out and still be a part of what we're doing.

Ellis injured his left knee Saturday while rounding third base and trying to score from second on a single by Andre Ethier. Ellis underwent the same procedure on his left knee following the 2012 season.

"I know he felt a misstep the other day and kind of felt it right then. And it was really sore after that," Mattingly said.

Ellis joined Clayton Kershaw, setup man Brian Wilson and Chad Billingsley on the disabled list, and Yasiel Puig sat out his second game because of a swollen left thumb. Puig was hurt when he made a headfirst slide into first base on an infield hit during Saturday's 7-2 loss to San Francisco.

Federowicz appeared in 56 games with the Dodgers last season, hitting four home runs and driving in 16 runs, and he has played in 66 big league games with Los Angeles since making his big league debut in 2011. He was optioned to Albuquerque on March 22, but remained with the big club on its extended roster for the two-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia.

Los Angeles kept Butera on the active big league roster because he could be sent to the minor leagues without clearing waivers - unlike Federowicz.

"I think it just tests our depth," Mattingly said. "We feel like Fed and Drew are capable to get through this stretch with out A.J., the same as our bullpen without Brian. We can't really say it's going to be good getting through this stretch without Clayton, because there's nobody quite like him. But I do think we're capable of winning games and doing what we have to do."

Updated April 8, 2014

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