Surgery for Guzman, Norris

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We interrupt Day 1 of the postseason to bring you some medical news from the Nats…

Cristian Guzman, who was hampered by a sore right shoulder throughout the season’s final few weeks, will have arthroscopic surgery tomorrow. I’m still waiting for confirmation of what precisely the MRI Guzman underwent on Monday revealed, but GM Mike Rizzo was confident over the weekend that even in a worst-case scenario, Guzman’s injury wouldn’t be severe enough to threaten his availability for spring training.

That said, this procedure (which will take place at the Washington Hospital Center and be performed by team orthopedist Weimi Douoguih) might seal the deal as far as Guzman’s potential move to second base goes. He’ll now have had two shoulder surgeries in less than four years (remember, he missed all of 2006 with a torn labrum) and his range and throwing velocity have diminished. He’s going to have a hard time convincing Rizzo and (insert name of Nats’ manager in 2010 here) that he should remain at shortstop.

Meanwhile, top catching prospect Derek Norris broke the hamate bone in his left hand this week while working out in the Florida instructional league. The Nats’ organizational player of the year will have surgery tomorrow in Baltimore by hand specialist Thomas Graham to remove the bone (it’s a common procedure for baseball players and golfers — Ian Desmond had this done early this season).

The procedure may be routine, but it will sideline Norris for at least two months. So that means he won’t be able to play in the Arizona Fall League as planned. This won’t really hinder his overall development; the guy remains several years from reaching the majors. But it will prevent him from catching Stephen Strasburg this fall, something the organization would have liked.

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Mark Zuckerman

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