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Stephen Strasburg to begin rehab starts next week

File image of Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg in Washington

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg pitches to the Kansas City Royals in the sixth inning of their MLB interleague baseball game in Washington, in this June 23, 2010 file photo. According to the team’s website, Strasburg has a significant tear in his ulnar collateral ligament will likely require Tommy John surgery, the team announced in a conference call on August 27, 2010. Picture taken June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Gary Cameron/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)


Mark Zuckerman of reports that Stephen Strasburg likely has one more sim game to throw down in Florida but then should begin rehab starts in actual minor league combat next week.

This would put him on track to pitch in genuine major league contests before the end of the year, which is a tad on the surprising side. Given what we learned earlier today about Jordan Zimmermann being shut down after four more starts, he’ll certainly have a place in the Nats’ rotation.