Nats' Strasburg to have Tommy John surgery Friday

Washington Nationals rookie ace Stephen Strasburg will have Tommy John surgery on Friday to rebuild his injured right elbow, an operation that is expected to sideline him for 12 to 18 months.

The ligament replacement surgery will be in Los Angeles and performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum, with Nationals team doctor Dr. Wiemi Douoguih assisting.

“He is dealing with it like a professional,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said before Tuesday night's game against Florida. “He's very determined to get it done and start the process.”

Strasburg will begin his recuperation the day after the surgery, recovering at the Scripps Clinic in his hometown of San Diego.

Strasburg hurt himself while pitching Aug. 21 in Philadelphia. The right-hander who created such a buzz all through baseball was 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA.

The 22-year-old Strasburg was the overall No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft and quickly climbed through the minor leagues this season.

With a fastball that reached 100 mph and wicked curves, he struck out 14 during his major league debut in June and had many fans saying he should be on the NL All-Star team in July.

Strasburg was scratched from a start in late July after he had trouble getting loose in the bullpen. He went on the disabled list two days later with inflammation in the back of his right shoulder.

The Nationals were worried when Strasburg grimaced, shook his wrist and walked off the mound during his last start against the Phillies. An extensive MRI exam last Thursday revealed the severity of the injury, a devastating setback for the last-place team.

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