When news broke last week that Nationals phenom Steven Strasburg needed Tommy John surgery and likely won’t throw a pitch in the Major Leagues until 2012, the mood around D.C. was predictably apocalyptic.

For a team that hasn’t finished better than .500 since their 2005 move to Washington, losing their crown jewel in Strasburg seemed like an unusually cruel blow to Nats fans. All hope is not lost however.

As a fan of all things Philadelphia, I know all about always expecting the worst from your favorite teams, but after more than 30 years of experimentation, Tommy John Surgery boasts a success rate of more than 80%, and at just 22 years of age, Strasburg’s odds of recovery are even better. 

In fact, as a present to Nats fans everywhere, here are ten players that not only returned from Tommy John surgery, but thrived because of it.

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