Stephen Strasburg will return to Washington Nationals’ rotation on Thursday without ‘any limitations’

MIAMI — Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg will make his long-awaited return from the injured list on Thursday and pitch against the Miami Marlins, manager Dave Martinez said Tuesday.

Speaking before the series opener, a 12-2 Nationals loss, Martinez announced the news a day after the right-handed Strasburg authored one last side session in his rehabilitation process.

“I’m not going to put any limitations on him,” Martinez said. “We’ll see how far we can take him. We’ll keep a close eye on him, but this is one of the reasons why we wanted him to go through what he did and to make sure that he’s fully ready.”

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Strasburg will oppose Miami left-hander Trevor Rogers (2-5) in the series finale less than a month after making his first appearance — a minor league outing — since undergoing thoracic outlet surgery in 2021.

Strasburg, the 2019 World Series MVP, has pitched a total of 26⅔ major league innings since the start of the 2020 season. He led the National League with 209 innings in the regular season in Washington’s title year then threw another 36⅓ in the postseason, while going 5-0.

Washington rewarded him with a seven-year, $245 million contract before the 2020 season, but he has made a total of seven starts since.

On May 24, Strasburg allowed three runs in 2⅔ innings for Class A Fredericksburg. He struck out three batters while walking four. Before the game, Martinez said the club was planning for Strasburg to work four innings and throw 60-plus pitches. He finished with 61 pitches, including 31 strikes, and topped out at 94 mph against the Salem Red Sox.

With Tuesday’s loss, Washington is now 21-36 and in last place in the NL East.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.