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Stephen Strasburg Says 'Numbness in My Whole Hand' Led to 2020 Surgery

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IFebruary 21, 2021

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg throws a pitch to the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning of a baseball game, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg opened up about the season-ending surgery he had back in August.

Strasburg, who was named World Series MVP in 2019, had a 15-minute surgery to address carpal tunnel that immediately solved the numbness that would take over whenever he threw a baseball, according to Associated Press

The 32-year-old said the injury symptoms "basically would go from numbness in my thumb to numbness in my whole hand."

Strasburg pitched just five innings in 2020, landing on the 10-day injured list before he was moved to the 60-day IL, ending his time in the pandemic-shortened season. 

Through those five innings, which were spread out across two games, he had just two strikeouts and was 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA.

He said the sudden stoppage of the season during spring training, then months off before the season restarted in July, attributed to his injury, as he spent time in the interim working on throwing into a net, which he said "ended up hurting me more than helped me." 

With such a stat line, it was obvious that something was troubling Strasburg, who had gone 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA through 33 regular-season starts en route to baseball's ultimate prize just a year earlier. Throughout the postseason, he went 5-0 and amassed a 1.98 ERA with 47 strikeouts.

But the procedure has helped him prepare for a more impactful season in 2021. He began playing catch and throwing bullpen sessions earlier than usual. 

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"Endurance-wise, stamina-wise, I feel like I'm a lot further along than I have (been) in years past," he said. 

He'll return to slot into a rotation alongside Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin as the Nationals look to improve on their 26-34 campaign. 

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