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Stephen Strasburg to pitch Sunday

WASHINGTON -- Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg is expected to throw Sunday in the minor leagues, a significant step in his recovery from elbow surgery.

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Wednesday that Strasburg will throw an inning or two for Class A Hagerstown, which will be hosting Greensboro. It will be the right-hander's first appearance in a game since he underwent reconstructive elbow surgery last September.

Johnson says Strasburg's appearance Sunday is contingent upon him emerging from a side session Thursday without problems. He hopes to have Strasburg back with the Nationals by September.

The first overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft, Strasburg went 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA last season. He had 92 strikeouts in 68 innings before hurting his arm in an Aug. 21 game against Philadelphia.