Stephen Strasburg injury: Nationals star could pitch Saturday

Scott Cunningham

Strasburg appears to be responding positively to his strained lat muscle.

After playing catch the last two days, it appears as though Stephen Strasburg could be ready to pitch by Saturday, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. There was some concern as to whether or not he would be able to avoid the DL after straining his lat muscle last Friday, but if he continues to respond well then he will make his next scheduled start.

The team has yet to announce him as their starter for the game, as he still has to throw a successful bullpen session Wednesday. The team moved Gio Gonzalez up to pitch on Thursday, which he will be able to do because of an off-day on Monday. Thursday was Strasburg's original scheduled day.

Strasburg, 24, has an ERA of 2.54 in 12 starts this season. He has pitched 74 1/3 innings to this point, after being shut down early last season on an innings limit.

With star slugger Bryce Harper currently on the DL, the team could certainly use the boost that Strasburg returning to the rotation would give. They will need to rely on their superb starting pitching if they want to get back to where they expected to be, which is first place.

If Strasburg had to hit the DL, he would be the second Nationals starting pitcher to end up there. Ross Detwiler is currently on the DL with a strained oblique.

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