Young's next start pushed back to Sunday

Chris Young #55 of the New York Mets

Chris Young #55 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals. (April 10, 2011) (Credit: Getty Images)

Where biceps tendinitis hurts, Mets pitcher Chris Young reported, is not in the biceps, that Popeye muscle in the upper arm that flexes the forearm.

"Shoulder," he said Wednesday, "where the biceps tendon inserts into the shoulder."

Also, there is a figurative pain in the neck for Mets manager Terry Collins, who will delay -- from Friday night to Sunday -- the next appearance for his most effective starter (1-0, 1.46 ERA, 12 strikeouts in 12 innings). More unsettling, perhaps, is to be reminded of Young's recent health history.

In each of the past two seasons with the San Diego Padres, Young spent more than two months on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. Last year, he appeared in only four games.

With a staff carrying a combined 5.30 ERA entering Wednesday night's game against the Colorado Rockies, the last thing the Mets needed was another man with a rag arm. Both Collins and general manager Sandy Alderson cited caution -- and the long row to hoe in a 162-game schedule -- in giving Young two extra rest days.

"We talked after his last start and the next day he was a little tender," Collins said, "so I went to him [Tuesday] and talked about the possibility of moving him back to Sunday. He thought that would work. He said, 'I can pitch Friday if you want,' and I said, 'It's April 20th. I think we'll make sure you're there on June 20th.' "

Young assured that this is different from past shoulder maladies. "The shoulder injury I had in the past, I couldn't even lift my arm," he said. "I couldn't even get it into a pitching range. I can go through the movements [now]. I can throw a baseball. It's nothing like the past. And from talking to trainers and the doctors, they said these are pretty common symptoms."

At 31 and in his eighth big-league season, Young said he has "actually learned to differentiate pretty well between the serious stuff and the not-so-serious stuff. I'm pretty confident in my assessment.

"Unfortunately, I know more about the anatomy of the shoulder than I'd like to. I still don't understand it, necessarily, but I know some of the anatomy. I don't have a [medical] degree; don't hold me to it, but given the way it feels, and the improvement it's made in a couple of days, I'm not concerned.

"It's probably not the smartest thing to push it at this point. It's early in the season and, given my history, it's the right thing to do to just push [the next start] back a couple of days."

Proof that the shoulder bone is connected to the head bone.

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