Nationals' Stephen Strasburg to Undergo Season-Ending Surgery on Neck Injury

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIIJuly 27, 2021

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) delivers ion the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Tuesday, June 1, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg will undergo neurogenic thoracic outlet surgery on Wednesday, a procedure that will end his 2021 season.

The Nationals are hopeful the 33-year-old will be ready for the start of next season.

Strasburg's last outing on June 1 was cut short after just 1.1 innings. Nats manager Davey Martinez told reporters the right-hander had trouble getting loose and couldn't find his rhythm on the mound. That was apparent as Strasburg's velocity was noticeably down against the Atlanta Braves

A subsequent MRI of a tight right trapezius muscle led Washington to place its longtime starter on the 10-day injured list, but his timetable to return remained uncertain with what was officially being called a neck strain. 

Strasburg later experienced a setback in the middle of July, which led to the team reducing his activities.

He finishes the season having gone 1-2 with a 4.57 ERA in five starts, striking out 21 batters in 21.2 innings of work.

The 2009 No. 1 overall draft pick has seemingly battled injuries since breaking into the big leagues. Washington has responded with extreme patience and cautiousness each time, and that should be no different this time around. 

With Strasburg and others out, the Nationals (45-54) have had a hard time keeping pace with the National League East-leading New York Mets (53-45). As Friday's trade deadline approaches, Washington currently sits 11.5 games out of a playoff spot, leading to the possibility of a fire sale at the deadline.