After playing catch this afternoon without experiencing any lingering forearm problems, Stephen Strasburg was cleared to start Saturday night for the Nationals against the Marlins.
The Nationals were fairly confident Strasburg would be fine to pitch as planned, but team officials needed confirmation he could complete his day-before workout before saying with 100 percent certainly the right-hander would start against Miami.
Strasburg hasn't pitched since a Sept. 8 win over the Marlins, twice scratched due to forearm tightness he experienced the day before he was scheduled to start.
"I don't really know why it's happening," he said Wednesday night. "When it happens, it happens. It's like a strong cramp, so I just think I would put us in a bind if I went out there and felt it. We'd definitely be down some pitchers."
Throughout the last week-plus, though, Strasburg has remained confident this wasn't a serious issue and could be pushed through without fear of further injury.
"I wouldn't say I'm too concerned," he said Wednesday. "Because when I get nice and loose, it feels 100 percent. The tough thing is getting loose."
Strasburg was able to get loose with no problems during his throwing session this afternoon, according to manager Davey Johnson. That was the final test the right-hander needed to pass before he was cleared to start.
Had Strasburg not been able to make the start as planned, Johnson said the Nationals probably would have brought back veteran Dan Haren on short rest.