By Brian Tinsman

WASHINGTON — Injuries are still the prevailing theme of the 2017 Washington Nationals season, but one of their key pieces could be nearing a return to the disabled list.

Stephen Strasburg, placed on the 10-day disabled list for elbow nerve impingement on July 27, made his first rehab start last night for single-A Potomac.

He allowed just one run over 66 pitches in a highly efficient five innings. According to the stadium radar gun, his fastball popped the mitt at 95-97, and his curveball was effective in all counts.

Never a man of many words, he gave a positive review of his outing: “Felt good. No issues. Felt strong throughout.”

This backed up his detailed plan for what he hoped to accomplish in the start: “Go through my pitches, try and hit my spots.”

The Nationals were similarly encouraged by his results and think a return to the Major League could happen sooner rather than later:

The date to circle is Saturday in his hometown of San Diego, which is the next time that the Nationals could not start a starter on regular rest. After pitching last night, Strasburg would be on regular rest.

Strasburg, for one, is ready to come back now, if not sooner.

“I felt like I was ready to come back before this,” Strasburg said after his start. “But they wanted to be conservative, so hopefully this was enough.”


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