Strasburg to miss start after twisting left ankle

Cole steps in as Nats will push ace's next outing back a few days

Strasburg to miss start after twisting left ankle

VIERA, Fla. -- Stephen Strasburg has been scratched from Sunday's start against the Tigers after he twisted his left ankle while conditioning on Friday.

Nationals manager Matt Williams said the issue was not serious, but the team wants to be cautious and push Strasburg's start back a few days, especially since he was scheduled to throw 75 pitches.

"We don't have to any issues with the arm trying to overcompensate," Williams said.

This is the second time this spring Strasburg, who appeared to be OK while walking around the clubhouse Saturday morning, has been scratched from a start, although neither issue has been serious. He missed a start earlier in the spring because of an ingrown toenail, but he still made his pitches that day at the team's Minor League facility.

"It is what it is," Williams said. "Sometimes those things happen, but I don't anticipate anything serious."

Right-hander A.J. Cole, who was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday, will start for Washington in Strasburg's place.

Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.