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Stephen Strasburg’s latest injury update doesn’t bode well for Nationals return in 2022

Stephen Strasburg, Nationals

The Washington Nationals look like a completely different ballclub after offloading Juan Soto and Josh Bell to the San Diego Padres in exchange for a massive haul mixed of MLB players and developing prospects. Arguably the most familiar face in the organization, Stephen Strasburg, remains sidelined by an injury, and manager Davey Martinez’s latest update on the situation didn’t offer much optimism. Via Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports, Martinez revealed that Strasburg “isn’t doing anything” right now as he waits to begin rehabbing his injury.

Strasburg is currently dealing with some type of stress reaction in his ribs, and Martinez indicated that there would be no further updates until his ribs heal. As Martinez so delicately put it, Strasburg is currently doing nothing, and it will remain that way until he’s shown some level of recovery.

There is some worry within the organization that Strasburg is suffering from a recurrence of thoracic outlet syndrome symptoms, according to Jon Heyman. 

Stephen Strasburg underwent thoracic outlet surgery in July of 2021 to address the issue. It sidelined him for all of the rest of the 2021 season and the start of the 2022 campaign, too. He returned to the big leagues in early June, but made just one start before landing back on the IL. In that start, Strasburg was shelled by the Miami Marlins, surrendering 7 earned runs on 8 hits in just 4.2 innings of work. He was subsequently transferred to the 60-day IL, in another worrying move by the organization.

If any Nationals fans were hoping to see Strasburg again in 2022, they can pretty much kiss that wish goodbye. The 34-year-old doesn’t seem likely to begin ramping up activity any time soon, based on Martinez’s comments, and with the Nationals clearly looking towards the future, it makes minimal sense to try to rush Strasburg back before the regular season ends.