The Washington Times - September 13, 2011, 07:09PM

NEW YORK — The news on Corey Brown’s infected right knee didn’t get any better on Tuesday as the rookie outfielder underwent possibly season-ending surgery to help clear it out after the Nationals medical personnel felt it was not progressing in the right direction. 

With a fear that the infection could turn into a staph infection, the Nationals doctors opened up the wound and cleaned it out. It’s not clear whether or not he’ll be able to return to the field in the remaining two weeks of the season.


“I would think with that happening he’s out for the year,” said Nationals manager Davey Johnson. “I’m not a  doctor but I know one thing: you don’t mess around with a staph infection.”

– Laynce Nix’s strained groin is not progressing at nearly the speed the Nationals outfielder expected it to. Limited to five pinch hit appearances since he injured the groin in Atlanta almost two weeks ago, Nix has one hit and ran gingerly down to first base after that one on Sunday.

“I wish it was better,” Nix said Tuesday, admitting he’s frustrated with the way the injury has derailed the final month of what was shaping up to be one of his best professional seasons. 

Without Nix and Brown, and with Roger Bernadina still nursing a laceration on his left hand from diving in the outfield last week, the Nationals are a bit short in the outfield. Michael Morse, Jayson Werth and Rick Ankiel have been getting the lion’s share of the playing time out there, and they did so on Tuesday as well, but Jonny Gomes is the team’s only other true outfielder available. Brian Bixler can also play the outfield.

– Nationals right-hander Garrett Mock was outrighted to Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday, one week to the day after the Nationals designated Mock for assignment, removing him from the team’s 40-man roster to make room for their most recent call-ups.

Mock, who broke camp in 2010 as a member of the Nationals’ major league rotation, was relegated to the minor leagues after one start and hasn’t been back to the major leagues since. He underwent surgery on his neck last season and spent much of the rest of that year on the disabled list. He struggled with a hip injury this season but also worked to an underwhelming 6.39 ERA in 26 appearances across four levels in the Nationals’ minor league system this year.