- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 8, 2009

The shoulder injury that prevented Cristian Guzman from playing shortstop for the Washington Nationals during the season’s final two weeks will require surgery.

Guzman will have an arthroscopic procedure Thursday in the District to clean up his right shoulder after undergoing an MRI earlier this week. He’s expected to recover well in advance of spring training.

Soreness in the shoulder prevented Guzman from appearing in the field after Sept. 23. He did pinch hit eight times in the season’s final 11 games but was unavailable for any other duties and finished the year with a .284 average (down 35 points from the .319 mark he held Aug. 12).

This surgery comes less than four years after Guzman had a more serious procedure to repair a torn labrum in the same shoulder, an injury that sidelined him the entire 2006 season.

That history of shoulder trouble, combined with diminished range in the field, has prompted the Nationals to ask the 31-year-old to move to second base for 2010. Guzman hasn’t told the club whether he’s willing to make the move.

Meanwhile, top catching prospect Derek Norris also will have surgery Thursday in Baltimore to remove a fractured hamate bone in his left hand. The injury occurred this week while Norris was working out at the Florida instructional league, and it will sideline him until at least December (preventing him from participating in the Arizona Fall League).

The 20-year-old earned organizational player of the year honors after hitting .286 with 23 homers and 84 RBI at low-Class A Hagerstown.

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