Nationals ace Strasburg set to return next week
Aug 30, 2011, 4:34 p.m.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who dazzled fans in 2010 until injury ended his rookie campaign, is expected to make his first start in over a year next week, the team said on Tuesday.
The hard-throwing right-hander, who has been recovering from elbow surgery since last August, is scheduled to make his much-anticipated return at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 6.
Strasburg, 23, who will make his final rehab start on Thursday for Double-A Harrisburg, will likely pitch no more than five innings against the Dodgers next week, according to Nationals manager Davey Johnson.
The highly rated Strasburg made a sensational Major League Baseball debut last year, going 5-3 with a 2.92 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 68 innings before his campaign ended prematurely due to elbow surgery.
Strasburg, the first pick in the 2009 draft and the ace on the Nationals pitching rotation, had Tommy John surgery to have the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow replaced.
The procedure is named after a former Major League pitcher who was the first professional athlete to successfully undergo the operation in 1974.
(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)