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New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom taking next step in recovering from shoulder injury

Matt Johnson
Jacob deGrom, New Uork Mets
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom was diagnosed with a stress reaction in his right scapula days before Opening Day. While the 33-year-old is still a long way away from taking the mound at Citi Field, he is set to take the next important step in his recovery.

deGrom told reporters Thursday that he recently underwent a bone scan, confirming the original diagnosis of a stress reaction in his pitching shoulder. He’ll now undergo an MRI on April 25 to determine if there is improvement after resting for multiple weeks.

  • Jacob deGrom stats (2021): 1.08 ERA, 0.55 WHIP, 146 strikeouts in 92 innings

Before deGrom underwent the bone scan, Mets’ manager Buck Showalter expressed some optimism regarding the two-time Cy Young Award winner’s progress.

“It’s pretty positive so far. He will be here…then go back to St. Lucie to rehab – and as soon as he starts throwing, he will rejoin us and do all his throwing with us.”

Jacob deGrom injury update from New York Mets manager Buck Showalter, via WFAN

Before experiencing discomfort in the shoulder, deGrom looked good in limited work during spring training. He started regaining his velocity and seemingly didn’t have any issues in his pitching elbow. Unfortunately, one of the best rotations in baseball was derailed quickly.

Related: 2022 MLB rotation rankings

The Mets are hoping they can create a recovery timeline for deGrom after his upcoming MRI. Given his history of arm issues, though, the organization will take extreme caution with the ace of its rotation.

When will Jacob deGrom return?

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets-Workouts
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Even in the best-case scenario, deGrom won’t take the field for the Mets until some point in June. Assuming he is cleared to resume throwing within the next few weeks, he’ll need to start a throwing program as the team eases him into action.

Realistically, deGrom might not even begin a rehab assignment until early June. The Mets also need to keep in mind his elbow. After missing the second half of the 2021 season with a partially torn UCL, it’s very possible that deGrom tried to adjust his mechanics by putting more strain on his shoulder.

If deGrom can return to the mound for live action in early June, he’ll need multiple rehab starts to build up his pitch count. Even upon potential activation from the injured list, he might be kept under 80 pitches in his initial starts.

While deGrom remains sidelined, the Mets will continue to rely on breakout candidate Tylor Megill to provide stability for their rotation. It’s also possible, depending on deGrom’s MRI results later this month, that New York revisits the trade market for pitching.

Related: MLB power rankings 2022 – Houston Astros challenging Yankees for No. 1 spot