Stephen Strasburg’s season is over.
The Washington Nationals’ starter hasn’t pitched since June 1 due to a nerve issue in his neck. Nationals manager Dave Martinez told reporters Tuesday that Strasburg will have surgery on Wednesday, ending his season.
Martinez said the diagnosis for Strasburg is neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, per Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post.
Stephen Strasburg will undergo surgery tomorrow for neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, according to Dave Martinez. Strasburg’s season is over and the hope is that he’ll be ready for spring training next February.
— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) July 27, 2021
Strasburg has been on the injured list for nearly two months but threw a bullpen session last week in an effort to return to the mound. However, the 33-year-old righty was still dealing with discomfort in his neck. It wasn’t the first setback for Strasburg during the recovery process.
In the week before the All-Star break, Strasburg was nearing a rehab assignment before he felt this same discomfort after throwing a bullpen session in San Diego. This week, he threw 32 pitches Monday, long-tossed Tuesday and felt good enough to throw 28 more pitches off the mound Wednesday before the Nationals were forced to ease his workload. Each step backward raises the question of whether Strasburg will make another start this season.
Strasburg, a three-time MLB All-Star who earned MVP honors when the Nationals won the World Series in 2019, has been hampered by injuries in recent years. He has pitched only 21.2 innings this season, having previously missed time due to a shoulder strain. On top of that, he logged only five innings in two outings during the shortened 2020 season and ended up having carpal tunnel surgery due to a nerve issue in his throwing hand.
Strasburg is in just the second season of a seven-year, $245 million contract.
The Nationals are in the midst of a five-game losing streak after losing in walk-off fashion to the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night. At 45-54, the Nationals are in fourth place in the National League East, 8.5 games behind the first-place New York Mets.
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