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Nationals SS Guzman to have season-ending surgery


MrAndMrsFish
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WASHINGTON ? (AP) ? Washington Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman will miss the entire season after the team decided Friday his right shoulder needs surgery.

 

Guzman has been out since early in spring training. The team put him on the disabled list March 27 and kept him in Florida for extended spring training, hoping he could build up the muscle around a tear in the shoulder and avoid surgery.

 

The player came to Washington this week, and the plan was for him to work out for general manager Jim Bowden and manager Frank Robinson. But because Guzman has been feeling too much pain while throwing, the Nationals determined he needs the operation, which will be performed Monday by Dr. Tim Kremchek.

 

Guzman is expected to be ready for spring training in 2007. He was not made available to reporters at RFK Stadium on Friday.

 

"Cristian worked extremely hard for two months around the clock to attempt to come back without surgery,'' Bowden said. "But without even getting on the field today, it was evident we had no choice but to wait until next year.''

 

Guzman flirted with hitting below .200 in 2005 before finishing with a career-low average of .219. That was the first season in a $16.8 million, four-year contract he signed as a free agent.

 

Veteran shortstop Royce Clayton, who signed a minor league deal in the offseason, took over the starting job in spring training when Guzman was sidelined. Clayton entered Friday's game against Pittsburgh batting .229, with nearly as many strikeouts (19) as hits (22) in 96 at-bats.

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