The Washington Nationals received some uplifting news on Thursday. Per Chelsea James of The Washington Post, an MRI revealed ace Stephen Strasburg did not damage his UCL. As such, he will not require Tommy John Surgery.
Trainer Paul Lessard just said Strasburg's MRI showed no damage to UCL. Has strain of his flexor mass.
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) September 8, 2016
This is certainly good news. At this point, calling a second Tommy John Surgery a career-ending injury for Strasburg would be presumptuous, but not outrageous.
While the list of pitchers who have recovered from one Tommy John Surgery is deep, the list of guys who have come back from two is pretty thin.
Also, a second Tommy John surgery would have likely kept Strasburg out of action until some time in 2018 at the earliest.
James added that while Trainer Paul Lessard wouldn’t commit to a return for Strasburg in 2016, he did say that the injury is not season-ending.
The Nationals can afford to be cautious. While they’d ideally want Strasburg back for the playoffs, they currently hold an 8.5 game lead in the National League East.