WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg said Wednesday night that he is in "the best shape of my life," and he hopes to start throwing off a mound in a few weeks.
Strasburg is recovering from Tommy John surgery, and the Nationals are hoping he will pitch in a Major League game by the end of the 2011 season.
"[The elbow] is doing great," Strasburg told CBS' Ted Robinson during a college basketball game between San Diego State and UNLV. "I'm well into the rehab process. I have another three or four weeks before I start throwing. Once you start throwing, it's going to be a long process just getting your strength back. I feel great about it. I have a really good feeling I'm going to come back 100 percent."
Strasburg was the talk of baseball after his Major League debut June 8 against the Pirates. A sellout crowd of 40,315 at Nationals Park saw Strasburg allow just four hits while reaching a club record for strikeouts. The 14 K's were also one shy of the Major League mark for a pitcher in his debut, set by Karl Spooner in 1954 and matched by J.R. Richard in '71.
But Strasburg's season came to an end after he felt pain in his right elbow Aug. 21 against the Phillies, and he ultimately had season-ending surgery in early September. The 22-year-old went 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts.
Strasburg also talked about hosting the inaugural Stephen Strasburg 5K Walk & Fun Run with Tony Gwynn, which takes place at his alma mater on Saturday. The San Diego State event benefits the Aztecs' baseball program.
"It's going to be a great event," Strasburg said. "We have around 1,200 participants, and we are hoping to get a lot more. It's going to benefit San Diego State baseball. We need all the help we can get."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.