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A.J. Ellis out 4-6 weeks after surgery to repair left meniscus tear

The Dodgers will make a roster move prior to Tuesday night's series opener against the Tigers.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus on Tuesday morning, his second left knee procedure in 18 months. The catcher will begin his rehabilitation on Wednesday and is expected to miss four to six weeks.

The 20-minute procedure cleaned up the medial meniscus of his left knee, and was preformed by team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Ellis had a similar procedure on his left knee in October 2012 to repair tears to his medial and lateral meniscus. He was shut down from workouts for six weeks after that surgery, but that was during the offseason and not perfectly comparable to now.

The Dodgers will make a roster move before Tuesday's game against the Tigers, which will likely be the recall of catcher Tim Federowicz from Triple-A Albuquerque. Federowicz, the only other catcher on the 40-man roster besides Ellis and Drew Butera, didn't play in either of the Isotopes games on Sunday in Tacoma nor in Reno on Monday night, and is out of the lineup on Tuesday afternoon as well.

Ellis is 4-for-24 with four walks in the early going this season, hitting .167/.310/.167, and has thrown out one of three base runners attempting to steal. Ellis caught every inning of the Dodgers' first seven games, but Butera started on Sunday night in the series finale against the Giants.

Since the start of the 2012 campaign, Ellis' first full season behind the plate, he ranks fourth in baseball with 244 starts and 2,185 innings at catcher.

It is unclear if the injury was caused by normal wear and tear or on a single play. Ellis was thrown out at the plate in the seventh inning on Saturday, and limped ever so slightly walking back to the dugout.

Ellis, who turns 33 on Wednesday, avoided salary arbitration in the offseason with a $3.55 million deal, with up to $150,000 in performance bonuses that will be threatened by this surgery. He would receive $50,000 for each of 110 and 115 starts, and 450 plate appearances.

In 2013 Ellis started 109 games and amassed 448 plate appearances, and that included a 15-day trip to the disabled list in June with a strained oblique. When Ellis was on the disabled list in 2013, Federowicz started 10 of 14 games behind the plate with Ramon Hernandez catching the other four games.

Ellis joins a crowded disabled list for the Dodgers, one that currently also includes Clayton Kershaw, Josh Beckett, Brian Wilson, Chad Billingsley, Scott Elbert (60-day) and Onelki Garcia (60-day).