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Cordero also has become resigned to the fact that he was bound to get hurt eventually. He figures he already had a small tear in his shoulder before this season, then caused more damage as he tried to pitch in April. Once he tore the latissimus dorsi muscle in the back of his shoulder, he knew what probably lay ahead.

“Something was going to give out eventually,” he said. “Because the arm just isn’t made to throw in that kind of motion.”

Cordero is past the point of rehashing the how and why of his injury. He’s not feeling sorry for himself, and he’s determined now to work his way back and pitch on Opening Day 2009.

Whether it’s for the Nationals or not.

“There’s still a possibility we can work it out,” he said. “This is just one little incident. I’ve never had any problems with anybody on the team or any of the front-office people. It just was one incident that made me upset. So I’m not going to hold that against the franchise or anything.

“Shoot, this franchise gave me my opportunity to be able to come up here. They drafted me … so I’m real thankful for what the organization has allowed me to do.”