The Washington Times - July 15, 2011, 07:09PM

ATLANTA — Stephen Strasburg reached another milestone in his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery when he threw 45 pitches in live batting practice Wednesday in Viera, Fla. At this point, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said that having their ace right-hander back on a major league mound sometime this season is still very much in play.

“If his rehab progresses on schedule, there’s a chance he could get a major league start in September,” Rizzo said. 

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Provided Strasburg suffers no ill-effects from the live BP session, he will be on track to do something similar on Monday and he continues to build toward a goal of pitching about 50 innings this season in preparation for the 2012 season. Whether those will be divided among the major leagues and the minor leagues, or even how they’ll be divided, remains to be decided. 

“I know he’s been chomping at the bit,” said Nationals manager Davey Johnson. “The times i’ve seen him down in Viera, I saw him about a month ago when he first started throwing off the mound. He’s been chomping at the bit wanting to do more.

“I think he feelsl ike he’s on his way back and that’s the good news. I think he feels real good and hasn’t had a lot of setbacks. I figure we’ll see him sometime in September.”

Jordan Zimmermann threw 70 2/3 innings last year between the minor leagues and major leagues but he was stretched out to nearly 40 innings in the minors, a total that would likely not be needed for Strasburg if there were time constraints on keeping him on a regular schedule, i.e. the minor league seasons ending.