Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg winces after throwing his final pitch Saturday in Philadelphia.
An enhanced MRI of Stephen Strasburg's right arm has revealed a "significant" tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow which will probably require Tommy John surgery, general manager Mike Rizzo said during a conference call this morning.
Recovery time from the ligament replacement surgery is typically 12-to-18 months, meaning Strasburg wouldn't be ready to return until late-2011 at the earliest.
Strasburg injured himself Saturday night in Philadelphia, wincing in pain after throwing a fifth-inning changeup to Phillies right fielder Domonic Brown. He attempted to convince Jim Riggleman to leave him in the game, but the manager immediately pulled him for precautionary reasons.
Strasburg underwent an MRI Sunday in Washington, the results of which revealed a strained flexor tendon in his forearm. Team doctors, though, wanted a clearer look at the forearm and elbow and scheduled the arthrogram (an enhanced MRI in which a dye is injected into the arm) for yesterday.
In 12 starts this season, Strasburg is 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA, 92 strikeouts and 17 walks in 68 major-league innings. He also threw 55 1/3 innings in 11 minor-league starts.