After throwing just 16 competitive pitches in all of 2020, Stephen Strasburg detailed the nerve issue in his hand for the first time since being forced to curtail his season after only five innings on August 14.
"I knew something wasn't right. I'm glad it was something specific and pretty easy to fix," Strasburg said.
A 15-minute carpal tunnel surgery immediately helped alleviate the chronic numbness Strasburg experienced in his thumb, which Strasburg said was aggravated every time he tried to throw, "and basically would just like go from numbness in my thumb to numbness in my whole hand."
The 2019 World Series MVP said he's been working with the Nationals' physical training staff to help strengthen everything around his thumb to get back to full shape ahead of the 2021 campaign.
"I don't really try to look too far back to see why it happened, but obviously haven't thrown a baseball in a long time and it's an injury from repetitive use," Strasburg said, adding that he won't be changing any mechanics due to the surgery. "It definitely felt a lot better than it has all last year."
With all the downtime in the offseason, the right-handed ace started training earlier because he "didn't really have a season." That training helped him start throwing bullpens in early January as opposed to later in the month.
What should be the best news to Nats' fans ears: extra rest and more practice time bolstered Strasburg's progress to allow the 32-year-old to feel better than he's felt in quite some time.
"I feel, endurance-wise, stamina wise, like I'm a lot further a long than I've been in years past," Strasburg said. "I kinda wanted to give myself some extra time to work through some mechanical things and be ready to go on day one."