Braves catcher Evan Gattis hadn’t caught consecutive games this spring until Thursday, and now we know why: He had knee surgery in October, and the team has been careful with his workload behind the plate.

Gattis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he had arthroscopic surgery to remove what he called a dime-sized bone chip that had been “floating around” in his knee right knee since around 2006, the year he had knee surgery known as the OATS procedure, when he was in junior college.

In that invasive procedure, plugs of healthy cartilage and bone are moved from a non-weight bearing part of the knee to replace damaged cartilage. Gattis was on crutches for two months after the 2006 surgery, and soon quit junior college and began a nearly four-year period in which he was out of baseball and wandered the western states, doing various odd jobs, seeking out “spiritual gurus” and searching for a deeper meaning to life.

When he resumed his baseball career years later, the cartilage plugs held up well, but occasionally the bone chip would move to a troublesome spot near the bottom of his quadriceps muscle, and as a result the knee would buckle and Gattis would have temporary excruciating pain.