Dr. Lewis Yocum clarifies role in Stephen Strasburg shutdown decision

September 13, 2012

John McDonnell/WP

Dr. Lewis Yocum, the surgeon who performed Stephen Strasburg’s Tommy John elbow surgery, clarified his role in the Nationals’ decision to shut down Strasburg for the season. Yocum said he supported the decision and held multiple conversations with Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo on the subject.

The Los Angeles Times earlier reported that Yocum said the Nationals never asked him about Strasburg’s innings limit. This evening, Yocum, who is based in Los Angeles, released a statement to the Times regarding his role:

“I would like to correct the misimpression generated from today’s L.A. Times article, that I have not been a participant in discussions with the Washington Nationals regarding the recovery strategy for pitcher Stephen Strasburg.  In fact, I have been contacted repeatedly and have had numerous discussions with the Nationals GM Mike Rizzo and the team’s medical personnel, as recently as mid-August.  While the final decision was up to the team, as is standard practice, I was supportive of their decision and am comfortable that my medical advice was responsibly considered.”

Yocum did not return a phone call seeking comment. Rizzo declined comment.

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.
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Adam Kilgore · September 13, 2012

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