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Nationals' Strasburg 'on track' in elbow rehab

Stephen Strasburg says his rehabilitation is "on track" and he hopes to start throwing a few weeks before spring training.

"It's going great right now," the Washington Nationals pitcher said Monday during a telephone conference call from San Diego. "I've been making big strides."

Strasburg's sensational rookie season was cut short by reconstructive elbow surgery in September. He said he's getting physical therapy three times a week, in sessions of two to three hours, and that he'll emerge "probably in a lot better shape" than he ever was.

Strasburg said he will see his doctor after the holidays to get an indication of when he can start throwing. He'll continue to work out near his San Diego home, hoping to get in a few weeks of throwing before rejoining the Nationals when pitchers and catchers report for spring training in February.

Strasburg went 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 12 starts this year, including 14 strikeouts in his major league debut.

He said part of his therapy involves work with his shoulder because previous cases have shown that shoulder problems can follow after the elbow is healed.

"We don't want that to happen, obviously," Strasburg said, "so we're strengthening up everything."