Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg departed his Wednesday night start against the Braves because of elbow discomfort. That’s concerning enough, but it was also Strasburg’s first start since Aug. 17 — five days before he went on the disabled list with elbow soreness. Compounding those worries is that Strasburg underwent Tommy John surgery in September of 2010 and still features some high-stress scapular loading in his delivery.

Fortunately for the Nats, the results of that MRI were better than many feared …

While one certainly doesn’t seek out a strained flexor mass, that’s better than having a torn UCL, which would very likely result in a second Tommy John surgery for Strasburg. The focus now will be on getting Strasburg healthy enough to pitch in the playoffs while balancing that near-term goal with the long-term health of a pitcher whom the Nats earlier this season signed to a $175 million contract extension.

This season, Strasburg, 28, has pitched to a 3.60 ERA (117 ERA+) and a 4.16 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings. As recently as Aug. 5, before the elbow began compromising his performance, Strasburg boasted an ERA of 2.63 and was in the NL Cy Young discussion.

Source: CBS Sports / Nationals get good news on Stephen Strasburg’s elbow injury