Jeremy Hefner decides to have Tommy John surgery

Jeremy Hefner sits in the dugout after he

Jeremy Hefner sits in the dugout after he was removed in the fifth inning of a game against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. (July 24, 2013) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Mets righthander Jeremy Hefner has decided to have Tommy John surgery that likely will sideline him until the 2015 season, a source said Monday. No date has been set for the procedure, which was expected after doctors found a small tear in the medial collateral ligament in his right elbow.

The news comes on the heels of the strong possibility that rising ace Matt Harvey also will require surgery that will wipe him out for all of next season.

Hefner was 4-8 with a 4.35 ERA in 24 games. He was 3-1 with a 1.76 ERA in eight starts going into the All-Star break but struggled in his first five second-half starts, going 0-2 with a 9.13 ERA as his elbow injury worsened.

His absence will further test the depth of the Mets' starting rotation, both immediately and going into next season.

Lefthander Jon Niese is expected to be part of next season's starting rotation along with righthander Dillon Gee and 23-year-old phenom Zack Wheeler. Righthander Jenrry Mejia is expected to be healthy after surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow. With the exception of Wheeler, each of those pitchers has missed time because of injury within the past year.

Extra basesCloser Bobby Parnell still is considering surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck that has sidelined him since Aug. 6. The righthander said he will take the next two weeks to weigh his options. If he chooses surgery, Parnell said he could be at full strength by the start of spring training . . . Minor-leaguer Chase Huchingson was suspended 50 games for his second violation of baseball's policy against drugs of abuse. The 24-year-old was 3-2 with a 1.61 ERA with Double-A Binghamton.

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