- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 1, 2005

Washington Nationals second baseman Jose Vidro is scheduled to receive a second opinion on his inflamed right knee during halftime of tomorrow’s Washington Redskins-Seattle Seahawks game at FedEx Field.

Noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews will examine Vidro to determine if he needs offseason surgery.

“He said he was going to see me at halftime, so I guess I’ll be [at RFK Stadium] in the morning, pick up my stuff, and if I have time after that, come back here and discuss things with the trainers.”

On Wednesday, Vidro was examined in Cincinnati by Dr. Tim Kremchek, who recommended surgery. Kremchek, the Nationals’ senior medical consultant, advised Vidro to have his surgically repaired right knee cleaned out.

This is the same knee on which Vidro had surgery Sept. 8, 2004, to remove an inflamed portion of his patellar tendon.

Vidro said before last night’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies at RFK that he will make a decision on the surgery after the season. Vidro said he is available to pinch hit but probably will sit out the final three games.

When Vidro had surgery last year, he missed the final six weeks of the season. By spring training, he was rehabbing his knee just to be able to run. The three-time All-Star said that won’t be the case with this surgery.

“This is a different surgery than the one we did last year,” said Vidro, who hit .275 this season, his lowest batting average since becoming the franchise’s regular second baseman in 1999. “The process of rehabbing this type of injury is different than the other one. The other surgery took a long time for me to be able and start putting some weight on my knee. With this type of surgery, I can be up and going in a couple weeks.”

Vidro hasn’t played in the field in more than a week but has pinch-hit five times since Tuesday.

Robinson’s NL MVP

The last time the National League East champion Atlanta Braves were in town [Sept. 9-11], Braves slugger Andruw Jones belted four home runs in three games at cavernous RFK. But that impressive power display isn’t what convinced Nationals manager Frank Robinson that Jones deserves the NL MVP Award.

“I don’t have a vote but if I did, it would be for Andruw Jones,” Robinson said. “Especially when Chipper [Jones] went down, he stepped up and carried that ballclub and even after Chipper got back. He’s had a big year and big hits on that ballclub. I don’t think they would have won the division without him.”

Through Thursday, Jones led the majors with 51 home runs and the NL with 128 RBI.

Just a reminder

The start time of today’s game was changed to 4:10 p.m. This game originally was scheduled for 7:05 p.m. but was moved to accommodate Fox’s regional telecast.

A glimpse at 2006

For the second consecutive season, the Nationals will open on the road. They will begin next season with a three-game series at the New York Mets starting April 3. The Nationals’ home opener is April 11 against the Mets at RFK.

Although the schedule is subject to change, the Nationals are to play 30 of their first 42 games on the road. They also play the Baltimore Orioles in back-to-back exhibition games March 31 at RFK Stadium and April 1 at Camden Yards.

The Nationals will play the American League East in interleague play next season with a home-and-home series against the Orioles at RFK from May 19 to 21. The Nationals will play at Camden Yards from June 23 to 25.

The Nationals play host to the New York Yankees from June 16 to 18 and visit the Boston Red Sox from June 19 to 21.

The Nationals will play 23 of their last 34 games at home, including a season-ending three-game series against the Mets.

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