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Jonathon Niese MRI comes up clean, Mets say

Mets pitcher Jon Niese works out during spring

Mets pitcher Jon Niese works out during spring training practice Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, at Port St. Lucie, Fla. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - The Mets appear to have survived their first injury scare of spring training.

An MRI exam of Jonathon Niese's left shoulder came back "clean," with no evidence of structural damage, according to manager Terry Collins. Niese, who experienced weakness in an area behind his shoulder, is expected to resume throwing in a few days.

"We'll get him back on the mound as soon as we can," Collins said on Thursday. "It was very, very good news."

Niese missed nearly two months last season with a partially torn rotator cuff, though he returned after rehabbing.

Niese, who entered spring training as the likely Opening Day starter, was scratched from his first Grapefruit League start on Tuesday. Zack Wheeler will pitch in his place.

No match

Although the Diamondbacks appear willing to trade from their surplus of young shortstops, the price tag may prove too steep for the Mets.

Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers told The Arizona Republic this week that he would seek a "top-notch" catching prospect in any deal involving Didi Gregorius or Chris Owings. The Mets have a highly regarded catching prospect in Kevin Plawecki, who currently is blocked by Travis d'Arnaud.

A source told Newsday that the Diamondbacks seek a higher-end prospect than Plawecki, a player more along the lines of d'Arnaud. The source said the Mets and Diamondbacks have not engaged in any recent trade talks.

Plawecki, 23, is set to begin the season at Class A Port St. Lucie. D'Arnaud, 25, is penciled in as the Mets' starter in his first full big-league season after he was acquired from the Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey trade.

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