Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg hasn't pitched since June 1 because of what was first reported to be a neck strain and won't return until some time next year.
Per Paul Casella of the MLB website, Washington manager Dave Martinez confirmed Tuesday that Strasburg will undergo season-ending surgery on Wednesday after he was diagnosed with a neurogenic thoracic outlet condition. Martinez added that the Nationals are hopeful the 2019 World Series Most Valuable Player will be ready for the beginning of the 2022 campaign.
Strasburg went on the injured list June 2 and then experienced a setback related to a bullpen session on July 9. After encountering similar discomfort following a July 21 session, he was evaluated by a neck specialist on Monday.
It's a brutal blow for the veteran who recently turned 33 years old, as he was limited to two starts and five innings of work during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season before he had carpal tunnel surgery that shut him down through the end of that year.
Strasburg ends the current campaign with a 1-2 record and a 4.57 ERA accumulated over only five starts.
The Nationals began Tuesday evening trailing the first-place New York Mets by eight-and-a-half games in the National League East standings and are expected to be sellers ahead of Friday's trade deadline.