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Strasburg hurts knee, out of Saturday's AFL title game [UPDATED]

Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals' prized pitching phenom, twisted his left knee while shagging flies during batting practice before the Phoenix Desert Dogs' regular season finale in the Arizona Fall League on Thursday, and has been scratched from Saturday's scheduled start in the AFL championship game, the team said in a news release Thursday night.

According to the release, the injury is not considered serious, and an MRI exam taken shortly after the incident showed only "inflammation." Still, Strasburg is scheduled to fly to Los Angeles on Friday to be examined by orthopedist Lewis Yocum.

Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo did not immediately return voice and text messages seeking additional information, and players and coaches in Arizona were instructed not to discuss the injury with the media.

According to two sources who were briefed on the injury, Strasburg, a 21-year-old right-hander, stepped awkwardly while shagging flies in the outfield, heard a "pop" in his knee and crumpled to the ground.

Strasburg, who signed a record $15.1 million contract after the Nationals drafted him No. 1 overall in June, had been scheduled to start for the Desert Dogs in the nationally televised (on the MLB Network) AFL championship game Saturday. He was 4-1 with a 4.26 ERA in five starts in the AFL, having previously missed a scheduled start in the AFL all-star game after waking up with a stiff neck that was later diagnosed as a strained muscle.

By Dave Sheinin  |  November 19, 2009; 7:50 PM ET
 
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Next: So, how bad is the Strasburg injury?

Comments

Uh oh... the dreaded "pop" in the knee... I'm fearing ACL...

Posted by: ericp331 | November 19, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't sound good. But I hope it's not serious. Knock wood.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 19, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Elijah Dukes wearing #8, hits a 2-run homer (a real shot) to left in the 4th inning. Yeah, ELIJAH!!!!

Posted by: big_game_lannan | November 19, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

That's a bummer for Strasburg. And maybe for the franchise (please God let's hope not). BTW never mind about me being excited for Saturdays AFL game. DARN!

Posted by: big_game_lannan | November 19, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like they'd better cancel TV coverage for any game Strasburg is scheduled to pitch from now on. Perhaps a secret plot to jack up attendance at Nationals Park?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 19, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Talk about a K Wood & M Pryor redeaux!!!

SS will never play a full season.

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | November 19, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Gak.

How snakebit does a team have to be for their prize prospect to be injured shagging flies?

_1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | November 19, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

oy veh

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 19, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

All this means is we still have a lot of Bowden defunking to do.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 19, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Nooo-oooo! The setup was perfect for Saturday - Televised game, the Nationals 2009 #1 overall draft pick facing the Javalinas' #3SP in a game for AFL bragging rights. This, on top of his begging off of the "futures" game, due to a neck strain?

Could it be that Strasburg is possibly ducking the spotlight this early in his career through claiming injury, while suffering from some kind of anxiety disorder? YIKES!! - Frogs & Lizards are falling from the sky, our projected future as fans has been disrupted; Doom, gloom, continued bad luck & JayBeee can only follow.

Everyone, run away, flee as quickly as possible - Planet NJ is about to implode, and the only escape pod left seems to be Baseball Insider.

Posted by: BinM | November 19, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Shagging, awkward stepping, knee poping, MRI's, unbelievable, you just can't make this stuff up when it comes to the Nats. Lord please save us from the curse of the JimBo!

Uncle Ted I hope that insurance premium is up to date!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | November 19, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Now what in the David Clyde was he doing shagging flies? a million dollar pick shagging flies what the hell, he's got no business shagging flies with a fly swatter much less in the outfield, hell anything could happen and it did damn,damn,damn,on another note this week's usa today sport's weekly takes a look at the Nats future actually they are looking at all mlb teams starting with the worst teams(they had to remind us)it's a good read at this time of the year anyway take care of the "KID" Rizzo.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 19, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Good grief.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 19, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I've been there/done that withthe pop in the knee. It was a torn ACL, but misdiagnosed at the time.

Now I'm wondering if I'm looking at something similar. I heard/felt a really big and painful pop in my arm/elbow last month (worse than the original ACL tear in my knee). Doctor was expecting to see torn biceps tendon on MRI. He saw lots of fluid, but no apparent tear of the tendon. Anyone have a clue what I felt?

Posted by: fischy | November 19, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update, Boom Boom. I hope hope hope it's not serious.

I'm not a doctor, fischy, nor do I play on on tv. Sounds as though it's worth getting a second opinion from one in your case.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 19, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

dargregmag, perhaps you haven't noticed but pitchers typically shag flies during BP in MLB. Strasburg's going to be doing it for a long time. You (and he) need to get used to that.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 19, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh my God, I heard he farted yesterday and his undies got partially soiled, what's next,hemeroids. Come on people relax this kid is a straight up stud, so he hit a friggin hole on some half-assed outfield, he will be fine, he's young,strong and damned good.Take a breath it's November for God's sake, he'll be fine. Let's see what's a prospect doing shagging flies (uh it's his JOB),I heard a pop in my knee that was misdiagnosed(ok let's see Nationals staff vs fake assed quick care clinic like Urgent Care advice hmmmm) for the love of Godtake a breath, what the hell are you going to say when he ices his arm,shoulder or oh my God his "Tommy John" elbow. Watch some football or basketball and ease up, come spring and some real games then you can have your panick attacks.Geeeez, take a damn breath!

Posted by: mfowler1 | November 19, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

This is baseball not football or basketball. Is this kid that fragil. I know,he must have been playing in the sandlot and stepped into a groundhog hole. 15.1 mil and the kid already has bad knees!!!

Posted by: doughboy96 | November 19, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Good grief. A "pop" in your knee is rarely good. I guess the good news is that it was his left knee as opposed to his right knee which he uses to push off the mound. Still, makes me wonder if The Kid is snake bit or ducking the national tv coverage.

Posted by: cpedigo | November 19, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Taking a break from the Agony of St Stephen, I have a question (a real question, not a cynical rhetorical one):

Why would we showcase Wilkie in the AFL, where he exceeded expectations, and then leave him unprotected? Is it likely there's more 40 man roster-juggling to be done? (Wilkie on, Chico off?) Or are Rizzo and company comfortable that no one will take the risk on Wilkie for the full season?

Posted by: natinbeantown | November 19, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Two injuries right before his only two big starts so far? Watch. Next he'll strain his hammy right before Game 1.

Posted by: NatsNut | November 19, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Holy Crap.

Posted by: Section505203 | November 20, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

he will be another big fat failure for the nats.

Posted by: californicationdude | November 20, 2009 5:36 AM | Report abuse

BinM moans: "...Could it be that Strasburg is possibly ducking the spotlight this early in his career through claiming injury, while suffering from some kind of anxiety disorder? YIKES!!..."

Where do you morons come from?! The kid hears his knee go pop and YOU turn it into a conspiracy theory, be it with humorous and sarcastic intent or not. When reading comments you just know someone, somewhere will twist the facts and pick the most extremist view and post it publicly as if it were fact, aside from all the usual moderate responses. Ignorant fool.

Posted by: JimGoldbloomVA | November 20, 2009 6:26 AM | Report abuse

And so it begins...

Posted by: LongTimeSkinsFan | November 20, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

relax Mr. Bloom in VA. BinM is neither a moron, nor serious.

Posted by: NatsNut | November 20, 2009 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Wow... what a surprise. SS signs the deal for big coin and then comes up with, what is becoming a string, of owwie's. Is he related to Arenas?

Posted by: rg019571 | November 20, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

@NatsNut: At least you recognize sarcasm - others, maybe not so much.

Posted by: BinM | November 20, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

At least he didn't reinjure his strained neck :)

Posted by: fearturtle44 | November 20, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like Strasburg is going to end up as a "what could have been". I can envision millions of dollars going down the drain. Either that or we are all being lied to about his injuries.

Posted by: Pete433 | November 20, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmm. Is there really a Stephen Strasburg, or is this some Sidd Finch tease? Interesting how anytime we are all supposed to get a look at him, there is a last minute reason why we can't.

OK, I'm not really a conspiracy theorist --just frustrated and baseball starved. I'm watching the AFL game anyway. It's not all about Strasburg.

Posted by: KenNat | November 20, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

We haven't even started spring training yet, and he's already managed to hurt himself twice, both times while not even playing? We're so screwed.

Posted by: futbolclif | November 20, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Me, too. I'm looking forward to seeing the other baby Nats who get into the game.

---

I'm watching the AFL game anyway. It's not all about Strasburg.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 20, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

News Flash:

AP: Former San Diego State pitching star and number one pick in the 2009 MLB amatuer draft injured his left knee while shagging flys during batting practice prior to the start of Thursdays Pheonix Devil Dogs game in the Arizona Fall League.

Strasburg was taken to a local hospital for an MRI, which revealed some knee inflammation. The Washington Nationals who drafted Strasburg in June scheduled Strasburg to leave Arizona and fly to DC on Friday to be examined by the Nationals team doctor however those plans have been changed and Strasburg is now scheduled to fly to Los Angeles to see Dr. Lewis Yocum.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | November 20, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

...Either that or we are all being lied to about his injuries.

Posted by: Pete433 | November 20, 2009 8:35 AM |
---------------------------------------------------

Injury. There's one injury. Hopefully, all he felt was a dislocation of the patella, but it doesn't sound good to me...even if early MRI supposedly showed nothing.

Posted by: fischy | November 20, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

umm, yeah. That's the subject of this post.

---

News Flash

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 20, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Knee popping & crumpling to the ground does not sound good. I've never experienced that, and Fischy's story doesn't make me feel any better. Nor rerouting of SS's plane to LA to see Dr. Yocum.

While we're waiting, can someone please reassure us with a personal anecdote of experiencing the same thing and feeling perfectly fine, oh, a week or so later?

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | November 20, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Dude, my knee pops at least three times a day and I crumple to the ground every Saturday night. Sleep it off.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 20, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I think "pop" and "crumpled to the ground" probably just took about six months off my life.

Posted by: Section220 | November 20, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Uncle Teddy sez he just heard a big "pop" in his wallet.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | November 20, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

So long as he does not injure that goatee he will be fine

Posted by: alex35332 | November 20, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

and all the overeactors and doom and gloomers start chiming in. The kids fine.

Posted by: JDB1 | November 20, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Dude, my knee pops at least three times a day and I crumple to the ground every Saturday night. Sleep it off.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 20, 2009 9:12 AM

**********

OMG, LOL. LOL, like, really hard.

Posted by: NatsNut | November 20, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Dude, my knee pops at least three times a day and I crumple to the ground every Saturday night. Sleep it off.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 20, 2009 9:12 AM
-------------------
But this kid is not supposed to have the body or personal habits of a drunken 40-something.

Posted by: shanks1 | November 20, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Someone call MASN and tell them they can't broadcast Nats games every fifth day once Strasburg gets called up.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 20, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Sleep it off? Don't you know what happened last time this guy slept? Are you trying to kill him?

-----

Dude, my knee pops at least three times a day and I crumple to the ground every Saturday night. Sleep it off.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 20, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Can somebody help me find sense of humor in here? I think it's lost.

Posted by: NatsNut | November 20, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm guessing Wilkie was "showcased" in the AFL to see how he would fare against better competition...and to see if he was worth keeping on the 40 man. He's a great story and a guy I root for, but he is a 25 year old with little experience above AA and a meager fastball.

It sucks to see Rivera on the roster. The 40 man looks prettier when he is not on it.

I also hope the strategy of trading Beimel/Belly/Slick for guys that needed to be roster protected (Mattheus/Garate/Thompson) works out, otherwise the traded players return value could equal zero.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | November 20, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

1-Adam-12, see the new post...

Posted by: OldDude | November 20, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Well at least its Dr Yocum not Dr Andrews.

Posted by: Stu27 | November 20, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Bite your tongue and confess your sins to the baseball gods, Stu. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 20, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Is it my imagination or is there a D.C. curse?

Athletes come to Washington and either take the money and phone it in for a few years or get injured.

We need to bubble wrap D.C. athletes.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | November 20, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of which, something to while away time (after you've read the new post, of course):

http://www.virtual-bubblewrap.com/popnow.shtml

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 20, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Shades of Shawn.

Posted by: periculum | November 20, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Pop goes the Season!!! Hopefully not.

Posted by: billm32 | November 20, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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