Flores done for 2010, will play in Instructional League

Nationals catcher Jesus Flores told MLB.com on Friday night that he will not play a Major League Game in 2010, but will play in the Instructional League this fall.

The news means that Flores has missed almost two full Major League seasons because of right shoulder problems.

“It’s not a secret that I had shoulder surgery, which is hard to recover from,” Flores said via telephone. “But I’m still ahead of schedule. This type of surgery takes 12 to 16 months, so it’s only a year after surgery.”

Flores hurt the shoulder on May 9, 2009, when he was hit by a foul tip off the bat of D-backs outfielder Chris Young in Phoenix.

Flores was in pain for several minutes, but remained in the game before being taken out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Flores was activated from the disabled list Sept. 4 and made two pinch-hitting appearances.

However, he was sent to Alabama after complaining of shoulder soreness and ended up having right labrum surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews.

The good news is that Flores is taking hitting practice and throwing to the bases without any problems.

“I’m feeling good,” Flores said.”The reason I didn’t play in the big leagues [in September] is because I didn’t … have time to get into [game] shape. I’m throwing to the bases and I’m feeling great. The shoulder is really doing well.”

Flores is not sure if he will play Winter Ball, but he plans to be an All-Star catcher for the Nationals in 2011.

“I feel stronger and my goal right now is to  get in shape, feel 100 percent and get ready for next season,” he said.

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