Source: Maine could miss rest of season

FLUSHING, NY - MAY 31, 2009: Mets' John

FLUSHING, NY - MAY 31, 2009: Mets' John Maine pitches in the 2nd inning. New York Mets vs. Florida Marlins at Citifield. Photo by Kathy Kmonicek Photo Credit: freelance/Kathy Kmonicek

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Mets pitcher John Maine will seek a second opinion on his injured right shoulder, multiple sources confirmed Thursday. Maine, who went on the disabled list June 12 with a pinched nerve in the shoulder, is expected to visit Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., in the next few days, sources said, indicating that his season may be in jeopardy.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't pitch again this season," a source said.

Two days after Maine (5-4, 4.52) threw 65 pitches in a three-inning simulated game, he had a very abbreviated session - only a couple minutes of playing catch - while working out with the other pitchers at the Mets' minor-league rehabilitation complex yesterday.

"I just go on how I feel," Maine said of Thursday's workout. "It doesn't feel great."

While rehabbing relievers J.J. Putz and Billy Wagner participated in long toss from 110 feet, Maine ended his throwing portion well before Wagner and Putz.

"Pain is the wrong word," Maine said. "It's discomfort."

As yesterday's session indicated, Maine, who at one point was projected to return to the Mets' rotation by the end of this month, has suffered a significant setback in his rehab.

Maine declined to comment on seeking a second opinion, responding, "I don't have anything to say about that."

But after his light throwing session yesterday, Maine talked to reporters about his progress, or lack thereof.

"[Tuesday] it felt all right, but the days in between, it's hard," Maine said. "It aches a little bit, but what are you going to do? There's always a chance that you're not going to go out there and do your best. It's not too bad pitching; it's just the days in between."

Maine said he is so anxious to return to the big club, he'd pitch lefthanded if he could.

"Arm injuries happen and I hate it, but it's just a natural process," Maine said. "I'm trying to get over it."

Maine also blamed the natural competitor in himself for perhaps pushing too hard after arthroscopic surgery Sept. 30.

"In the winter I tried coming back faster to be ready for spring, and then it hit. Then at the same time, when I came back from the DL, I tried coming back even faster," Maine said. "I don't want to be here. I want to be up there. It's me. I don't know when to lay off the gas."

Maine, who bemoaned spending time in Port St. Lucie apart from his teammates and far from major-league action, knows all too well how tough the Mets' growing number of injured players is to endure and how trying this season has become.

"We're athletes," Maine said. "It's a long season. It's a grind, it happens. It's unfortunate it all happened in one year."

With David Lennon

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