Washington Nationals rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg has a significant tear of the ulnar collateral ligament that will probably require Tommy John surgery, the Nationals announced today.

The team will get a second opinion (and probably a third and fourth) before deciding on surgery.

Strasburg is scheduled to visit Dr. Lewis Yocum, an orthopedic surgeon well known for performing Tommy John surgery on injured pitchers.

Tommy John surgery, although serious, is not near as risky as it used to be. A number of big game pitchers have had the surgery and came back to be successful. Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tim Hudson had the surgery in 2008 and is having the best season of his career this year. A few other examples: Chris Carpenter, Ryan Dempster, Joakim Soria, Rafael Soriano, A.J. Burnett, Brian Wilson