On-Base Perception

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Hefner could be throwing again by Friday

Jeremy Hefner falls to the ground after being

Jeremy Hefner falls to the ground after being hit by a line drive from St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (March 26, 2013) (Credit: AP)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- And now for your daily Mets medical report, pitcher's edition:

-- Jeremy Hefner caught a lucky break on Tuesday. Carlos Beltran's one-hop comebacker struck him near his right elbow, but on a meaty part of his right arm, narrowly missing a spot that would have left far more damage. Nevertheless, Hefner spent his Wednesday shut down, banned from any baseball activity until the inflammation in his arm dies down.

"It's good," Hefner said of his right arm. "Just icing it and doing all that stuff."

Hefner hopes the regain regular range of motion soon and expects to resume throwing by Friday at the latest. If all goes as planned, Hefner should be ready to take his first turn in the rotation as the No. 4 starter.

Initially, Hefner thought he had broken his arm, just based on the sound of the impact alone.

"I was more stunned by the sound than the pain," he said. "It sounded like it hit the bat again."

Instead, X-Rays came back negative.

-- Righthander Shaun Marcum refused to discuss his latest setback with reporters, relaying the message through a team spokesman. Marcum has still to visit with medical personnel on Wednesday regarding what the team has termed "neck discomfort," which Marcum complained about during a bullpen session on Monday.

The Mets signed the 31-year-old Marcum this winter to a one-year, $4 million contract that could double in value based on incentives. However, the pitcher has been slowed first by a right shoulder impingement, and now discomfort in his neck.

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