DENVER -- Travis d'Arnaud, the key ingredient in the Mets' blockbuster trade of R.A. Dickey, faces the possibility of an extended absence after X-rays on Wednesday night revealed a fractured bone in his left foot.
Until d'Arnaud is examined by team doctors at the Hospital for Special Surgery Friday, general manager Sandy Alderson refused to place a timeline on his return. Nor would he discuss whether the injury will require surgery.
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"We'll wait until the doctors see him [Friday],'' Alderson said of d'Arnaud, who took a foul ball off his foot while catching for Triple-A Las Vegas.
Some players with similar injuries have come back as soon as a few weeks and others have been sidelined for upward of two months. The team is calling d'Arnaud's injury "a non-displaced [partial] fracture of the first metatarsal bone,'' which connects the middle bones of the foot to the big toe.
According to Alderson, the 24-year-old d'Arnaud is wearing a protective walking boot.
In 1997, former Montreal Expos star Vlad Guerrero suffered a similar injury that cost him five weeks. In 2007, Mets outfielder Shawn Green suffered a chip fracture of his first metatarsal, the same bone d'Arnaud injured Wednesday. Green initially was expected to be out for six weeks but returned in little more than two. But in 2011, when former Yankees reserve Eric Chavez went down with a metatarsal fracture, he missed eight weeks.
None of those three had to deal with the physical rigors of playing behind the plate, nor did any of them require surgery, which would require a longer recovery.
In 36 at-bats this season, d'Arnaud is hitting .250 with a homer and eight RBIs, all after impressing the Mets in his first spring training with his new club. He would have been the Mets' primary catcher had John Buck suffered an injury.
Instead, the Mets' catcher of the future faces another season marred by a major injury. A knee injury last June sidelined him for the rest of the 2012 season in the Blue Jays' system.
"It's part of the game,'' manager Terry Collins said. "He's a catcher. Stuff happens.''
Notes & quotes: Injured starter Shaun Marcum pitched four perfect innings in an extended spring training game Thursday. He remains at least two more outings away from a return . . . Lucas Duda sat out with stiffness in his lower back . . . Frank Francisco (right elbow inflammation) threw a scoreless inning in his first rehab game Wednesday . . . The Mets will make up Wednesday's snowed-out game on June 27 at Coors Field.