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NATIONALS NOTEBOOK

Cordero Won't Need Surgery On Shoulder

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By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 24, 2008

Washington Nationals closer Chad Cordero will not need surgery on his troublesome right shoulder, according to renowned orthopedist James Andrews, who examined Cordero yesterday. Rather, Andrews advised the club that Cordero -- who has not thrown his fastball at its normal velocity all spring -- should be able to strengthen his shoulder through a new exercise routine.

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An MRI exam revealed no structural damage, the club said, and Andrews diagnosed tendinitis and weakness in the shoulder. Cordero won't be placed on the disabled list, and instead will rehabilitate himself in between appearances in major league games even though he experienced what he described as a "clicking" in his shoulder late Monday night.

"I'm very relieved," Cordero said by phone from Birmingham, Ala., where Andrews has an office. "He said it was just normal stuff. Most pitchers have it at some point. it's nothing serious, and it's not going to damage me if I pitch with it."

General Manager Jim Bowden said he was "encouraged" by the news. Still, Cordero has not topped 87 mph. He is normally between 89 and 91 mph. Bowden pointed out that, even with diminished velocity, Cordero hasn't allowed a run in his four major league outings.

Cordero was due back in Washington last night, but he said that because he had dye injected into his shoulder for the MRI, he likely won't throw until tomorrow.

Peña Returns

Left fielder Wily Mo Peña was back in the lineup for last night's 7-2 loss to the New York Mets. He said he watched lots of video of his swing in an effort to try to right himself following an 0-for-4 performance Monday that left him in tears, and he responded by going 2 for 4.

"That day, I was thinking, 'What am I doing?' " he said. "I was just thinking. . . . Sometimes, it gets mental just a little bit."

Peña entered last night's game hitting .100 (3 for 30).


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