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Is Wilmer Flores’ knee problem arthritis?

Callaway says he’s not sure exactly what the ailment is.

The Mets' Wilmer Flores reacts after striking out

The Mets' Wilmer Flores reacts after striking out looking to end the sixth inning against the Marlins during the first game of a doubleheader at Citi Field on Sept. 13. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Wilmer Flores might have arthritis, but also might not have arthritis, or might have something similar to arthritis. The specific issue with Flores’ knees, which the Mets announced last week had ended his season, became muddied Wednesday when manager Mickey Callaway said, “I think the technical term is there’s arthritis in there.”

Last week, Flores complained of knee pain, so the Mets had him checked out by doctors. The diagnosis: early-onset arthritis in both knees. He received pain-reducing injections.

On Wednesday, Callaway wasn’t sure exactly what the problem was.

“It’s not as bad as what it sounds like,” Callaway said. “But technically, there is some arthritis buildup in there.”

But also, Callaway said: “You’ll have to ask a doctor. I don’t even know if arthritis buildup is a thing. All I know is there’s arthritis in there.”

Callaway stressed that Flores’ knee issue is not “something that is going to affect him long-term,” and if it were the middle of the season, Flores would do a stint on the 10-day disabled list and be fine — which would seem to matter more than word choice.

Asked to clarify, a Mets spokesman said the organization is sticking with its original phrasing and diagnosis: early-onset arthritis in both knees.

Notes & quotes: Brandon Nimmo batted ninth for the first time all season Wednesday, but Callaway suggested it was a one-day event — and the Mets might be best off with Nimmo batting leadoff in 2019. “Ideally, you’ll probably be leading off Nimmo and hitting [Amed Rosario] still seventh or eighth,” Callaway said . . . The Mets’ scheduled rotation for the final series of the season, this weekend against the Marlins: Corey Oswalt on Friday, Steven Matz on Saturday and Noah Syndergaard on Sunday . . . The Mets hosted Ozzie Virgil Sr., who on Sept. 23, 1956, became the first Dominican-born major leaguer, as an honorary coach Wednesday. Virgil, 86, has worked for the Mets the past 11 years, overseeing the catching instruction for the organization’s Dominican Summer League teams, part of a pro baseball career spanning seven decades. “The best sound that keeps me alive,” he said, “is the bat hitting the ball.”

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