Stephen Strasburg’s torn ulnar collateral ligament has put his career on hold and done serious damage to the hopes of the Washington Nationals franchise.

Strasburg is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair the ligament damage to his elbow, making a return to the mound next season very unlikely.

While Strasburg rehabs, the Nationals will have no choice but to cross their fingers and hope for the best when he returns.  Even before it begins, it appears that the 2011 season has already produced a “wait until next year” mantra.

The Nationals are hardly the first franchise to put its fortunes on hold while waiting for marquee players to recover.  In some cases, injured stars were never able to play again.  In other cases, the players returned but were never able to rediscover the pre-injury magic.

Here’s a look at 10 franchise-crippling injuries in the history of sports.

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