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Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg still dealing with neck discomfort

MLB: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves

Jun 1, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) throws against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE -- Stephen Strasburg felt some discomfort in his neck after a recent bullpen session, and Washington manager Dave Martinez says the Nationals are trying to figure out what to do next.

“We backed him down again,” Martinez said. “I know they’re going to look at some different options, probably see if we can find another specialist for him to go see - but as of right now, this continues to happen to him.”

Strasburg has made only five starts this season because of neck and shoulder issues. The right-hander, who turned 33 on Tuesday, hasn’t pitched since June 1.

“When we get Strasburg back, I want him back fully healthy, so we’re going to weigh all options here,” Martinez said. “He goes out and throws long toss and stuff, and he feels OK. When he throws a bullpen, it irritates him some, so we need to figure that out.”

The Nationals entered Friday night’s game at Baltimore with a 45-50 record, six games out of first place. They’re in danger of missing the postseason for a second straight year after winning the World Series in 2019.

Strasburg was the MVP of that World Series, but he has pitched only seven times since.

“He’s frustrated, because he’s worked so hard,” Martinez said. “I said, `Look, we’ve got to figure out what it is, and then we’ll go from there. We’ve been here before. I know it’s been a bumpy road for you, and I know you want to come back and pitch.”’