Stephen Strasburg was set to see a, “nerve specialist Thursday to get a second opinion,” on the troublesome nerve issue in his right hand after the Washington Nationals’ 32-year-old starter ended up on the 10-Day Injured List with carpal tunnel neuritis back on August 15th.
“We like the diagnosis where it’s at right now, where he’s had the nerve testing throughout his body to see where we’re at with that,” GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies on Wednesday, but they were waiting until they had a second opinion before they moved ahead with the next step.
“I’m not sure where we’re at with the rest of the season,” Rizzo admitted, noting that they were going to take an ultra-cautious approach to his recovery.
“We want to knock this thing out and get this thing behind us,” the GM said.
“And then Stras would have to ramp back up after ... what? It would be about two weeks off.
“He’d have to ramp back up. We’ll see about the remainder of this season. But we will take it very cautiously with him.”
On Friday afternoon, manager Davey Martinez shared the news on the second opinion on Strasburg’s hand.
“The diagnosis was he has carpal tunnel [neuritis],” Martinez said. “Now we’re going to sit back and discuss what the plans are moving forward.”
“I haven’t seen Stephen today,” he explained.
“I’m going to talk to him and see what his options are and what he wants to do. I think it’s something that’s going to have to be fixed, so we’ll see.
“I want to talk to him first before and get his thoughts on things.”
Asked what he meant by “fixed” in this case, Martinez said, “We don’t know.”
“Are we conservative, and let it try to heal, or the other option is it could be possible to have surgery, so like I said, I want to talk to Stephen before we come up to any final conclusion.”
Does having the second opinion confirm the initial diagnosis help in starting to make a plan for what to do with the ‘09 No. 1 overall pick, who signed a 7-year/$245M deal with the club this winter after he was named the 2019 World Series MVP and briefly tested the free agent market?
“It helps us all knowing that we can have a plan going forward,” Martinez said.
“But my concern is always Stephen and I hope that he recovers as quickly as possible, regardless of whether he pitches again this year or not, but he’s ready to go in Spring Training next year.
“We’ll see what happens after I talk to him, what his plans are and what he wants to do, and we’ll go from there. But he’s going to be missed no matter what.
“Every start with him, it was always good every five days to put his name in there and watch him do his thing. But he’ll be missed, but the rest of these guys they know what they need to do and they’ll pick up the slack and we’ll go from there.”
“It’s a [repetition] injury,” Rizzo said before they had the second opinion, when he was asked if they knew what was behind the issue.
“And I think it affects him when he throws certain pitches like his curveball, which is kind of a snapping-type of motion with his hand and wrist. So I really don’t have an answer for that, about how he got it.
“It’s one of those repetition injuries that over the years has just kind of grabbed him this year.
“We’re going to get the experts to weigh in before we make any diagnosis or timetables, but we’re going to be very cautious with him.”