Nats say Strasburg has nerve impingement


WASHINGTON — The issue that caused Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg to exit early from his start this past Sunday was nerve impingement in his right forearm.

Although the Nationals were off Monday, the team did not return home from its West Coast road trip until early that morning. As a result, no testing was done on Strasburg until Tuesday morning, when a diagnostic ultrasound was performed. According to head athletic trainer Paul Lessard, the ultrasound revealed impingement on the medial or inside of Strasburg’s right forearm. Because the test showed no structural damage, Strasburg is not expected to undergo an MRI.

On Tuesday afternoon at Nationals Park, prior to Washington’s series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers, Strasburg played catch on flat ground in keeping with his typical routine between starts.

“I talked to him today,” manager Dusty Baker said before Tuesday’s game. “He’s feeling good. Whenever something happens, especially when you have a history, everybody gets a little alarmed. But he’s not alarmed. He doesn’t look alarmed. He actually looks very at ease and at peace, actually.”

Although Baker was noncommittal as to whether Strasburg would be able to make his next scheduled start, general manager Mike Rizzo sounded confident.

“He feels good,” said Rizzo. “He’s capable of getting back in the rotation on Saturday, so he should be fine.”

In 2010, Strasburg underwent Tommy John surgery to repair his ulnar collateral ligament. Since then, Strasburg has made five separate trips to the disabled list. The first four of those did not directly involve his pitching arm, but on Aug. 22 of last year, five days after allowing nine runs in 1.2 innings at Colorado, the former No. 1 overall pick hit the DL with elbow soreness. Two weeks later, in his return from the disabled list, Strasburg exited early against Atlanta after experiencing elbow discomfort that was ultimately diagnosed as a partial tear of his pronator tendon.

Although Strasburg has made only 47 starts over the past two seasons combined, he has yet to miss a turn this year. The 28-year-old right-hander, who signed a seven-year, $175 million contract in May 2016, is 10-3 with a 3.25 ERA in 20 starts for the first-place Nationals.

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