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Strasburg (neck) throws 90 feet on flat ground

MLB.com @JamalCollier

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals do not expect Stephen Strasburg, who threw from 90 feet on flat ground Wednesday, to need an extended stint on the disabled list, but manager Dave Martinez said he will play catch one more time before he is ready to throw off a mound.

"I watched him yesterday, and he was throwing the ball really good," Martinez said. "And that's just throwing off flat ground, 90 feet. His shoulder feels good, so hopefully we're beyond the whole neck thing, and we can start progressing a little quicker than normal."

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WASHINGTON -- The Nationals do not expect Stephen Strasburg, who threw from 90 feet on flat ground Wednesday, to need an extended stint on the disabled list, but manager Dave Martinez said he will play catch one more time before he is ready to throw off a mound.

"I watched him yesterday, and he was throwing the ball really good," Martinez said. "And that's just throwing off flat ground, 90 feet. His shoulder feels good, so hopefully we're beyond the whole neck thing, and we can start progressing a little quicker than normal."

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Strasburg was placed on the DL last week, retroactive to July 22, with a pinched nerve in his neck and was eligible to return Wednesday. Even though Strasburg said he felt completely different after receiving a scalene block injection, the Nats are going to make sure they ease him back into action.

Martinez confirmed he will likely need a Minor League rehab start before he rejoins the Nats' rotation. That means left-hander Tommy Milone, who struck out nine in seven innings of one-run ball in Wednesday's 5-3 victory against the Mets, will remain in the rotation for now.

"I definitely don't want to rush [Strasburg]," Martinez said. "I want to get him back and get him back for the rest of the season."

Worth noting
• Mets manager Mickey Callaway took issue with Adam Eaton's slide into second base in the first inning of Wednesday's game that resulted in a broken left leg for infielder Phillip Evans. New York challenged whether Eaton's slide violated the slide rule at second base, but the review confirmed that the slide was legal.

Video: NYM@WSH: Evans exits after Eaton's slide into second

"I thought it was a clean baseball play, I really did," Martinez said. "[Eaton] went straight to the base. He didn't look like he did anything illegal. So to me, it was clean."

Erick Fedde, the Nats' fifth-ranked prospect as rated by MLB Pipeline, has played catch from 60 to 90 feet as he works his way back from right shoulder inflammation. The right-hander is expected to throw off a mound soon.

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Stephen Strasburg