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Strasburg diagnosed with mild lat strain

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ATLANTA -- The preliminary report on Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg's injury came in on Saturday afternoon and while there is indeed an injury, it's not quite where originally reported.

Strasburg flew back to Washington following Friday night's 3-2 win over the Braves, during which he was removed from the game with what was diagnosed as a strained right oblique after pitching a career-low two innings. Strasburg had an MRI on Saturday, and while the injury is near the oblique, it's not the oblique.

"It's a lat and it's down low," said Nationals head trainer Lee Kuntz. "It also happens to be where your oblique comes around and inserts. The MRI showed that it was a lat strain. A Grade I lat strain."

Grade I is the lowest level.

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said prior to Saturday night's game that the team would wait before putting Strasburg on the disabled list. Johnson still hopes the right-hander can make his next start.

"We'll see how he feels. We have an off-day Monday. He can be pushed back, which means he can throw Tuesday. If he's not having any discomfort, if it's letting up, if it's not grabbing him, he will start," said Johnson. "But if it's bothering him, he'll probably miss his start."

Kuntz echoed Johnson's analysis. 

"We're going to wait and see how he feels," he said. "We're going to treat it right now and play it by ear."

Strasburg, who had pitched through the pain in his previous starts has a 3-5 record with a 2.54 ERA and was among National League leaders in innings, strikeouts, and strikeouts per nine innings. He was 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA over his last four starts, including Friday night.

Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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