Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg’s career is at risk due to ‘serious nerve damage’, leaving the 34-year-old at risk of NEVER playing again
- Strasbourg was crucial to the Nats’ first World Series title in 95 years in 2019
- The 34-year-old earned World Series MVP honors when Washington beat Houston
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg has “severe nerve damage,” raising doubts that he can still pitch, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
Strasbourg, 34, was closed more than a month ago, unable to participate in any rehabilitation, according to the report. He underwent surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome and hasn’t started a game since last June.
He has a history of nervous problems.
After an offseason pitching session at Washington’s Nationals Park in February, he reported nerve pain in his neck and shoulder. He missed spring training and was on the 60-day disabled list before opening day, and while he’s eligible to retire, that’s not in the nationals plans.
As he continued to try to stay in shape by working his lower body, it stopped due to pain, tingling and numbness.
Stephen Strasburg may never pitch for Nationals again due to ‘severe nerve damage’
Strasbourg met former US President Donald Trump during the Nats’ visit to the White House in 2019
Strasburg has pitched just 31 1/3 innings in three seasons since earning World Series MVP honors in 2019 when Washington defeated the Houston Astros in the Fall Classic.
During the 2019 regular season, Strasburg pitched 209 innings and finished with an 18-6 record, then signed a seven-year, $245 million contract with the Nationals.
Last season he made an appearance and pitched 4 2/3 innings of a loss to the Miami Marlins on June 9, allowing seven earned runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
According to the Post, the plan is for Strasbourg to rest and see if the nervous conditions improve.
The team has nothing to lose by playing the waiting game because, according to the report, the Nationals are on the hook for the remaining three seasons of his contract.
In 2019, Strasburg earned World Series MVP honors when Washington beat the Houston Astros
His age and injury history would have made the cost of insuring his contract exorbitant, provided the Nationals could even find a company willing to provide disability insurance, the Post said.
Strasbourg was largely kept away from nationals. He didn’t attend their opening day game, doesn’t travel with the team and didn’t spend much time in the locker room before home games, according to the Post, which added that the manager Dave Martinez no longer includes the pitcher in his injury reports.
Strasburg, a three-time All-Star, has spent his entire 13-year major league career with the Nationals. He was the first overall pick in the 2009 draft at San Diego State.
He is 113-62 with a 3.24 ERA in 247 career starts. His 1,723 strikeouts ranks first in Nationals franchise history.