Three key Nationals players had surgery after the season, but each should be ready for spring training.
Stephen Strasburg had bone chips removed from his right elbow, first baseman Adam LaRoche had surgery on his left elbow and outfielder Bryce Harper had a procedure on the bursa sac in his right knee.
Nothing has changed in the prognosis for any of the three. According to Washington manager Matt Williams, Strasburg will be ready to go “full bore” on the first day of spring training.
Of course, that doesn’t mean he will. This is a player, after all, with a checkered injury history that includes Tommy John surgery and a controversial shutdown near the end of the 2012 season to protect his arm.
“We may be a little more cautious with [Strasburg], obviously, to start, to see where he’s at,” Nats general manager Mike Rizzo said. “But from the doctor’s report and the calendars we get, he should be ready to participate fully in spring training.”
The same goes for LaRoche and Harper. Williams joked that LaRoche’s elbow was already good enough that he could pull back on his hunting bow. Harper plays with a reckless abandon that gets him in trouble. His crash into the fence at Dodger Stadium last May led to the knee pain that eventually required surgery. But Williams doesn’t want Harper to change anything. He’ll live with the risk.
“Bryce is going for the ball. If he wants to go to the wall to get the ball, he’s still going for the ball,” Williams said. “You can’t tell him not to do that. So sometimes he’s diving into the stands and get banged up. And something we may have to deal with. But I love that about him. I love that. I love the fact that he plays the game the right way, every day, and he’s all out for his team.”