Strasburg to have right elbow surgery Friday

Strasburg to have right elbow surgery Friday

MIAMI -- After a thorough examination of his options, Nationals rookie sensation Stephen Strasburg will have right elbow surgery Friday in Los Angeles.

The surgery will be performed by the renowned Dr. Lew Yocum, with assistance by Nats team doctor, Dr. Wiemi Douoguih, who studied under Yocum.

Thus the heralded right-hander's season officially has ended. In 12 games for the Nats, he was 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 92 strikeouts.

Strasburg was found to have a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament but went to Yocum for a second opinion. Yocum confirmed what had earlier been diagnosed, according general manager Mike Rizzo.

"He's dealing with it like a professional," Rizzo said of the 23-year-old. "He's very determined to get it done and start the process."

Rizzo said Yocum told him that Strasburg tested very well physically with the elbow, but then a second arthrogram showed the tear.

The general manager said Strasburg would return to his home in San Diego a day after the surgery and commence a physical therapy program shortly thereafter at a nearby Scripts clinic.

Strasburg, the first overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, is expected to be out between 12 and 18 months.

The Nats are hopeful that he can begin light throwing in four months, but they understand it likely will be a long road for him to return to the form that made him the talk of baseball earlier in the season.

Rizzo said Strasburg eventually would go to Viera, Fla., where the club trains in the spring, for all of his baseball-related activities.

Though the news of his impending surgery has been accepted for some time now, it still was a sobering day for the Nationals, particularly for Rizzo. He said the organization is moving ahead now, knowing that Strasburg "has a great attitude."

Charlie Nobles is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.