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Mets glad Zack Wheeler's collarbone has no structural damage

Zack Wheeler delivers a pitch during a spring

Zack Wheeler delivers a pitch during a spring training workout at Tradition Field. (February 15, 2013) Credit: Alejandra Villa

ST. LOUIS -- Well, the Mets can say at least one thing went right on this road trip, and it's a big one.

Doctors found no structural damage in the collarbone of top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler, who will resume throwing in a few days. He has been diagnosed with mild inflammation of his AC joint on top of his right shoulder and underwent a cortisone injection, according to assistant general manager John Ricco.

Wheeler's agent, Al Goetz, said the issue might be related to an impingement. Nevertheless, the Mets' top prospect will miss just one start. Following his exam in New York, Wheeler rejoined Triple-A Las Vegas, which was playing in Omaha.

"Feeling good and ready to get going again," Wheeler tweeted Wednesday. "Thanks for all the kind words and concerns."

Given the unusual area of the soreness, and Wheeler's standing as one of baseball's top pitching prospects, the Mets took the cautious route. The results brought a sense of relief to the Mets, who could call Wheeler up as soon as next month.

"Anytime you have a kid with that kind of talent, and they talk about arm stuff, especially when you talk about the shoulder area, it scares you to death," Collins said. "It's great news."

Wheeler is 2-1 with a 3.74 ERA in eight starts in Las Vegas.

Said Collins: "I don't care what anybody says. I know he's still close to getting here."

Extra bases

Centerfielder Rick Ankiel's equipment has arrived from Houston. "Now those balls will stick in that glove," Collins said of Ankiel, who let a fly ball drop from his borrowed glove during his Mets debut on Monday night . . . Collin McHugh was available out of the bullpen for the first time since his recall.

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