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Jesus Flores will visit Dr. James Andrews, miss at least 10 days

Catcher Jesus Flores's depressing spring continues. Struggling to recover from shoulder surgery, Flores left the Nationals to visit specialist Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., and will miss at least 10 days, Manager Jim Riggleman said.

Flores already had said he would not be ready for Opening Day, and Riggleman reasserted Flores will begin the season on the disabled list. The question may be whether Flores will play this season at all, but general manager Mike Rizzo is confident he will.

"There's no further issues with the surgery or with the tears or anything like that," Rizzo said. "It's simply precautionary. He felt discomfort. Because of who he is in our organization, the type of player he is, we're being very cautious with him. We're pulling out all our resources to make sure this guy has the individual attention that he needs. ... Flo is going to be back with us sometime in the near future."

Rizzo decided to send Flores, who flew out today, to Andrews because "the massive amounts of people that we have rehabbing with our three trainers" disallow Flores from receiving individual physical therpay, which he will receive in Birmingham.

The Nationals do not believe Flores re-injured his shoulder, which Andrews repaired with a SLAP (superior labrum from anterior to posterior) procedure Sept. 16. The plan is for Andrews to "treat" and "evaluate" Flores, Riggleman said.

"Dr. Andrews knows where he should be at this point," Riggleman said. "I don't think it's re-injured. I don't it's coming along as fast as he would like or as fast as the trainers would like."

"I'm not a lucky guy right now," Flores said March 2. By that point, he had expected to be swinging a bat, which he still has not done. He was able to play catch at 120 feet this week, but nothing more. The Nationals will restart that throwing program once Flores returns from physical therapy.

Flores's extended time away will not affect the playing time of Ivan Rodriguez, signed this offseason. Rizzo planned on having Rodriguez play roughly 100 games, depending on how he feels and how performs, no matter Flores's condition.

Flores' problems began last May 9, when he took a foul tip off his shoulder. Flores rehabbed for a stress fracture and eventually played in the major leagues again in September as a pinch hitter. After three at-bats, he was examined again and discovered he had a torn labrum.

Flores said earlier this spring he believes the damage to the labrum could have been prevented or blunted had the team's medical staff not allowed him to throw after the injury. General Manager Mike Rizzo said he understands Flores's frustration but that the training staff at no point placed Flores in any undo harm.

Catcher Jesus Flores's depressing spring continues. Struggling to recover from shoulder surgery, Flores left the Nationals to visit specialist Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., and will miss at least 10 days, Manager Jim Riggleman said.

Flores already had said he would not be ready for Opening Day, and Riggleman reasserted Flores will begin the season on the disabled list. The question may be whether Flores will play this season at all, but general manager Mike Rizzo is confident he will.

"There's no further issues with the surgery or with the tears or anything like that," Rizzo said. "It's simply precautionary. He felt discomfort. Because of who he is in our organization, the type of player he is, we're being very cautious with him. We're pulling out all our resources to make sure this guy has the individual attention that he needs. ... Flo is going to be back with us sometime in the near future."

Rizzo decided to send Flores, who flew out today, to Andrews because "the massive amounts of people that we have rehabbing with our three trainers" disallow Flores from receiving individual physical therpay, which he will receive in Birmingham.

The Nationals do not believe Flores re-injured his shoulder, which Andrews repaired with a SLAP (superior labrum from anterior to posterior) procedure Sept. 16. The plan is for Andrews to "treat" and "evaluate" Flores, Riggleman said.

"Dr. Andrews knows where he should be at this point," Riggleman said. "I don't think it's re-injured. I don't it's coming along as fast as he would like or as fast as the trainers would like."

"I'm not a lucky guy right now," Flores said March 2. By that point, he had expected to be swinging a bat, which he still has not done. He was able to play catch at 120 feet this week, but nothing more. The Nationals will restart that throwing program once Flores returns from physical therapy.

Flores's extended time away will not affect the playing time of Ivan Rodriguez, signed this offseason. Rizzo planned on having Rodriguez play roughly 100 games, depending on how he feels and how performs, no matter Flores's condition.

Flores' problems began last May 9, when he took a foul tip off his shoulder. Flores rehabbed for a stress fracture and eventually played in the major leagues again in September as a pinch hitter. After three at-bats, he was examined again and discovered he had a torn labrum.

Flores said earlier this spring he believes the damage to the labrum could have been prevented or blunted had the team's medical staff not allowed him to throw after the injury. General Manager Mike Rizzo said he understands Flores's frustration but that the training staff at no point placed Flores in any undo harm.

"Our medical staff, we really investigated this thing very closely," Rizzo said. "We followed all the protocols and did everything we were supposed to do. We did our due dilligence on all sides. According to our medical people, who I trust, and Dr. Andrews, who I trust, in their opinions, which is the only thing that matters to me, is that we've done everything we can here. We're still on the right track."

By Adam Kilgore  |  March 10, 2010; 11:47 AM ET
 
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Comments

Anytime someone visits Dr. Andrews it is not a good sign.

Posted by: MBUSA | March 10, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Any time someone visits Dr. Andrews it is not a good sign.

Posted by: MBUSA | March 10, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Flo is going to be back this season. :( It's a shame. Just get better - the rest of the team will keep the wheels on.

Posted by: PattyinSJ | March 10, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Nope, definitely not good seeing that name in association with one of our players.

I feel for the kid, and I do rather wonder about how the initial injury was handled.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Darn dirt ball blocking drill!

Posted by: Stu27 | March 10, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Tough news regarding Flores, but probably better for him if he gets an evaluation from the guy who did the surgery.

Posted by: BinM | March 10, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

He can crash on my couch, I live about 10 blocks from Andrews' practice.

Posted by: Colm1 | March 10, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

This is awful news for Jesus, and really too bad for the Nats. He has already lost years and years of development time, due to the Rule 5 pickup forcing him to stay in DC in '07, then the LoDuca/Estrada debacle prompting his premature callup, and his injuries. I fear that his time as the Nats' "catcher of the future" is coming to an end.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | March 10, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I would have to figure the reason they gave Pudge a two year deal instead of one was to give Derek Norris time to develop... and that it was known even early in the off season that counting on a comeback from Flores was folly... too bad, Flores is a good catcher and had a knack for clutch hitting (whatever that means)... hopefully Pudge has enough left in the tank to at least provide the organization some continuity at catcher until (hopefully) Norris is ready to take the reins.

Posted by: Ghost7 | March 10, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Only two words need be said: Bryce Harper.

Posted by: davidmistretta | March 10, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

That's "undue harm"
Dang spell czechs.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 10, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

If Norris learns how to catch this year he will blow right past Flores because he going to be a better hitter. Even before the injury, Flores was an average, at best, defensive catcher. Even at his age, Pudge is on a far superior defensive level, so I think we are in good shape in the near term at the catchers position.

Posted by: Sonny9 | March 10, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, spellcheckers can replace editors and proofreaders, no problem. ;-)

http://grammar.about.com/od/spelling/a/spellcheck.htm

In other news, that was a nice game story in the birdcage liner today, Mr. K. Thanks.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Harper won't be ready before Pudge is done. Still, if Flores is done already, that would be a shame. And he may be--I understand the fracture is a very tough one to come back from.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 10, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Andrews should move his practice to DC.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | March 10, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

apparently some undue cutting and pasting from Harlan ...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 10, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Harlan?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

How would Riggleman have any kind of informed opinion as to whether or not the training staff missed the diagnosis or whether they performed the right treatment? Note that the reported comment of understanding Flores's frustration but defending the care he received is the exact tact Rizzo took weeks ago when Chico wrote about Flores's status and his anger at being placed on a throwing program that he thinks caused him further serious injury. Tow that company line Mike and Jimmy.

And it seems as though they did eff him up as bruise/tendinitis became a stress frtacture which became a torn labrum as he consistently compained.

Given how terrible last season was, there is no reason whatsoever that Rizzo should have had the kid throwing until they KNEW for sure that his shoulder was OK. They may have botched this kid's entire career.

Posted by: dfh21 | March 10, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Meh. Nice player, can't stay healthy. Time to cut bait and move on.

Posted by: trezmartin | March 10, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

i was never really sold on Flores. its almost time to move on.

Posted by: Nats1924 | March 10, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Mini poll question here: do you think Bryce Harper will end up playing catcher in the big leagues, regardless of whether he's drafted to play in DC or elsewhere? If he's the hitter they claim he is, why have him catch? It'll either shorten his career, reduce his effectiveness or simply take him out of the lineup unnecessarily for 20-30 games a year.

I think he'll play another position.

Posted by: baltova1 | March 10, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Yeah the Pudge signing is looking pretty good about now. Whatever you think of him as a mentor, it can't be a bad thing for a veteran backstop to handle a young staff. He'll catch the bulk of the games this year, then perhaps give way to Norris in September, then catch 40 games as a backup in 2011 before riding off into the sunset at age 40.

Sorry it had to come to this for Jesus, though, hopefully he can still have a career.

Does anybody else find it hard to avoid thinking about the Space Ghost whenever Space Coast Stadium is mentioned? Space Ghost Stadium? I think I'm going to go to Spring Training next year wearing a Space Ghost costume:

http://tinyurl.com/yajvrwb

Why not? The Caps have the Capstronaut, after all, and he got invited up to Ted's box. Anybody wanna suit up as Blip the Monkey and join me?

Posted by: BobLHead | March 10, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Moltar might be an easier costume to pull off.

Posted by: BinM | March 10, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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