Doctors who specialize in sports medicine, including leading authorities on the type of ligament replacement surgery performed on the throwing arm of Stephen Strasburg, say they aren’t surprised by the Washington Nationals’ decision to end their star pitcher’s season early sometime next month.
Even so, they acknowledge there is no consensus on whether it is a necessary step.
The approach the Nationals are taking — shutting Strasburg down once he reaches a yet-to-be-decided cap, possibly between 160 and 180 innings — is being scrutinized and studied carefully by many across the sport.
“It’s been conservative, more conservative than what we’ve done in the past,” said Kevin Wilk, whose group, Champion Sports Medicine, handles rehabilitation for the practice of James Andrews, one of the nation’s foremost orthopedic surgeons. “But this may turn out to be the model that teams use as a result of it. It’s very interesting to watch, especially because it’s such a high-prized player and the Nationals are doing so well.”