Stephen Strasburg's new routine and Nationals injury updates
Head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz met with reporters this afternoon and provided an array of updates on injured Nationals players, including shedding light on something Stephen Strasburg mentioned last night.
Strasburg said he began a new "program" between starts after going on the disabled list with inflammation in his back shoulder. "I'm definitely taking a more professional approach to how to take care of my body and my arm," Strasburg said. "It's a lot longer season. I just switched things up a little bit, targeting certain areas, really trying to work on the flexibility."
Kuntz offered more of an explanation today. First, he identified the back of Strasburg's shoulder as the specific area that became inflamed. With that in mind, Kuntz altered the exercises Strasburg performs, tailoring them specifically for what the back of his shoulder needs.
"All we've really done with him is fine-tune his exercises," Kuntz said. "When he had the inflammation in the back, we went through his entire program and have changed a few things, how he does some of his exercises. He's responded well to that, and we're going to continue to evaluate him regularly and tinker with it a little bit. That's really all we did.
"We have a basic set of exercises for everybody. But as you give that person that basic set of exercises, you have to fine-tune that to their needs. We've fine-tuend his."
Kuntz also ran through the other injured Nationals:
-Ross Detwiler still has yet to hear word back from Marc Philippon, the Colorado-based doctor who performed Detwiler's hip surgery this spring and where the Nationals sent the results of the MRI Detwiler had taken Monday. While the Nationals await word from Philippon, Detwiler remains upbeat and feels better than before.
"I don't think there's any structural damage," Detwiler said. "It seems like it's just scar tissue from the surgery. That's the best news."
The Nationals sent the MRI results to Philippon because of the unique nature of the circumstances. "We want to be cautious with this," Kuntz said. "Right now, we're just calling it a strain. [The MRI] shows that he had surgery. If you've ever had surgery, things aren't normal on your MRI. Now, is it anything to be alarmed over? Not at this time. But we're also having [Philippon] review the film."
Detwiler, anxious to hear word from Philippon, has started therapy similar to what he did after his surgery, including working out in a pool.
-Nyjer Morgan is progressing well and clearly itching to get back to baseball. Before batting practice began, Morgan spotted Kuntz and hollered, "Hey, Lee, can I hit?" While the Nationals have upped his activity level, Morgan didn't get back in the cage.
-Chien-Ming Wang is still throwing, but just long-toss and flat-ground catch for now. "He's scuffled a little bit," Kuntz said. But "I remain hopeful" he'll pitch this season.
-Luis Atilano had surgery to remove "significant bone spurs" from his right elbow last Thursday. He will not throw for at least six weeks and is obviously done for this season. "I'm already feeling better," Atilano said.
-Jesus Flores is throwing 120 feet and hitting live batting practice. Kuntz did not rule out Flores making it to an actual field this season, but he didn't sound all that optimistic, either. "A lot of that depends on how much activity he can get done down there in the time he has left," Kuntz said.
August 11, 2010; 6:58 PM ET
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