Mar 10, 2010, 4:16 PM EDT
[UPDATED AT 12:41 P.M.]
JUPITER, Fla. — Catcher Jesus Flores, still struggling to get his surgically repaired right shoulder back into shape, has left Nationals camp and will spend the next 10-to-14 days at orthopedist James Andrews' clinic in Birmingham, Ala.
Flores, who missed most of last season due to a compounding list of shoulder injuries, had surgery in September to repair a torn labrum. He arrived in Viera this spring hopeful of getting his arm back into shape in time to start the season, but it quickly became obvious he wouldn't meet that goal.
So far, Flores has only played catch from up to 120 feet and hasn't made the kind of progress he or the club expected.
"His arm is just not feeling real good," manager Jim Riggleman said. "He's tossing a little bit, it's aching, just not feeling right. We'll see if we can send him up there and let that stuff up there work with him, evaluate him and put him through tests, so he won't be with us for 10 days, two weeks."
Once he returns from Birmingham, Flores will have to re-start his throwing program from scratch, ensuring he'll have to open the season on the disabled list.
"I don't know how he couldn't at this point," Riggleman said. "No, we couldn't get him enough games to be ready for the season."
Ivan Rodriguez, signed to a two-year, $6 million contract in December in part as insurance in case Flores was slow to recover, will get the bulk of the playing time behind the plate once the season begins. Veteran Wil Nieves is likely to be Rodriguez's backup. GeneralRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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