Strasburg speaks before scheduled Tuesday start
Fans won’t have to wait much longer for the 2011 Major League debut of Stephen Strasburg, who is scheduled to make his return to the Nationals this coming Tuesday, September 6. Strasburg, who has spent a year off recovering from Tommy John surgery, spoke to the media on Saturday of his progression and rehabilitation since going under the knife.
“I’ve been fortunate to have no real setbacks this whole time, so I’m just following the program and I’m going to keep doing that and do everything I can to stay setback-free,” Strasburg said.
The Nationals’ ace has also been spending time in bullpen sessions between his Minor League rehab starts.
“It went really well, just going out there and maintaining the same routine I’ve been doing, and that’s all I’ve got to do to know that I’m going to be fresh on Tuesday,” he said.
The time spent out of the Big Leagues went slow at first, according to Strasburg, but once he got back on the mound and started throwing again, the pace began to quicken. The entire process was a learning experience for Strasburg.
“I’ve learned a lot of patience. I learned that you’re really not going to see the big improvements day in and day out, you just have to trust the work,” he said. “You’re going to see the improvements more one month at a time… I think this rehab process has helped me focus. Last year, I was still kind of feeling it out to see what it took to get through a season, and I fell short, unfortunately. But I learned from it and I think I have a much better idea of what it takes to go a whole year and be healthy.”
Strasburg’s quick recovery time mirrored Jordan Zimmermann’s, who underwent the same surgery and rehabilitation a year prior. Now that they’re both healthy, the duo is expected to become the 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation in 2012.
“It’d be great. Obviously, I’m going to be on a limit like he was this year,” Strasburg said. “For me, I’m looking a little bit further ahead where we won’t have the reins pulled in on us, where we’ll be able to put in 200 innings every year and get this team to the playoffs and hopefully win a World Series.”
Be sure to check the Curly W Live blog for more updates on Strasburg’s Nationals debut throughout the coming days.