Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Jacob deGrom injury: Mets ace feels ‘completely normal,’ still waiting for clearance to throw off mound

New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom said Saturday his shoulder feels “completely normal,” but he is waiting for medical clearance to begin throwing off a mound, according to the Associated Press. DeGrom has not pitched this season after suffering a stress reaction in his right shoulder during spring training.

“I feel completely normal,” deGrom said Saturday. “So I think that’s where it’s going to be like, do we push it? Do we not? That’ll be the discussion over the next few days, and when we get on the mound, what is the safest way to go about this?”  

The 33-year-old deGrom has had several MRIs to check his progress, and the most recent showed full healing in the shoulder. He has played catch up to 135 feet in recent days.

“You know, normally, bone heals stronger,” deGrom said. “The last report was good, and they said it was completely healed. So now, just making sure it handles the throwing and that nothing pops up.”

At this point, deGrom will need something close to a full spring training to properly build up before rejoining the Mets. That would put him on track to return in late June at the earliest, and more likely sometime around the All-Star break in mid-July. The Mets are 30-17 with a 7 1/2-game lead in the NL East, allowing them to be cautious and slow play deGrom’s build up.

Of course, the Mets are also without Max Scherzer (oblique) and Tylor Megill (biceps), so their rotation is thinned at the moment. Earlier this week, they gave a spot start to lefty Thomas Szapucki, who surrendered nine runs and got four outs. Still, the big division lead gives the Mets some breathing room. Their goal is being at full strength in October, not June.

DeGrom has not appeared in a big-league game since July 7, 2021 because of multiple injuries, including a forearm issue. He was lights out prior to last season’s injury, recording a 1.08 ERA with 146 strikeouts in only 92 innings. 

The two-time Cy Young winner is still planning to opt out of his contract this season, even after the shoulder issue.

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