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Dillon Gee hospitalized with blood clot in pitching shoulder

Dillon Gee, No. 35 of the New York

Dillon Gee, No. 35 of the New York Mets, looks on from the dugout after leaving in the sixth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. (May 15, 2012) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Mets pitcher Dillon Gee is in a Manhattan hospital after doctors used a catheter to break up a blood clot in an artery in his pitching shoulder, the Mets announced Tuesday.

Gee, 26, complained of numbness in the fingers of his right hand Saturday after pitching against the Cubs at Citi Field. After testing at New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Monday, doctors broke up the clot. Gee will remain hospitalized for the next day or two, according to the Mets, and will begin the second half of the season on the 15-day disabled list.

The Mets called the timing of his return to baseball activity "undetermined." A source said tests determined that Gee does not have an aneurysm, and the doctors are trying to figure out what damage, if any, the clot caused. An aneurysm, which is an abnormal blood-filled enlargement of a blood vessel, can cause clots.

"I'm really nervous for him," Mets manager Terry Collins said at the All-Star Game in Kansas City. "I'm really scared for him. Hopefully, they got it really early, because it had not been bothering him until the other day and he didn't say anything until the game was over about his finger."

Gee, the Mets' No. 4 starter, is 6-7 with a 4.10 ERA. He had one of his best outings of the season Saturday when he went eight innings in a 3-1 win over the Cubs. He was supposed to start the first game after the All-Star break Friday in Atlanta.

With Gee sidelined, Collins revealed his post-break rotation before Tuesday night's All-Star Game. Chris Young will start Friday, followed by R.A. Dickey. If Johan Santana has no issues with Thursday's side session, he'll start Sunday. If his ankle needs more time, Jon Niese gets Sunday's start and Santana will pitch Tuesday's opener against the Nationals in Washington. The Mets can wait until after the day off Monday to figure out a spot for 41-year-old Miguel Batista, who will get the first crack to replace Gee in the rotation.

The Mets are not yet ready to promote top prospect Matt Harvey. But Collins said Tuesday that Harvey has been discussed and could be next on the depth chart after Batista. The Mets have not been bowled over by Jeremy Hefner or Chris Schwinden, both of whom have started games for the Mets this season and are now at Triple-A Buffalo.

"I want to make sure he's ready," Collins said of Harvey. "I don't want to put a kid in a situation where he's going to fail. That's not fair."

Gee has been bothered by shoulder issues in the past, caused by a small tear in his right labrum that has not required surgery.

"My concern is obviously what the rehabilitation time is going to be," Collins said. "Is he going to miss a month? Is he going to miss two months? Is he going to miss the rest of the season so we can start to move forward with whatever move we need to make?"

Dr. Apostolos Tassiopoulos, chief of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine's Division of Vascular Surgery, said Gee could start working out "within a week" under the best-case scenario. "What has caused the clot in the first spot is the most important thing that needs to be determined," said Tassiopoulos, who is not involved in Gee's care. "I believe that the doctors on the basis of that will determine what this guy needs to do the next few weeks."

David Wright, who spoke to Gee on Monday, said: "Under the circumstances, he seemed relatively upbeat. Obviously it's scary when you're talking about blood clots. I'm not a doctor, but it seemed like they were working through the night [Monday] to kind of get that clot out of there. I don't know what that entailed, but I think under the circumstances, he seemed somewhat upbeat."

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