New York Mets infielder Lucas Duda talks to reporters after...

New York Mets infielder Lucas Duda talks to reporters after a spring training workout Thursday Feb 18, 2016 in Port St. Lucie, FL. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa

After the year the Mets have had, it’s only natural to assume the very worst when it comes to injuries. But as it turns out, there might be a little good news on the horizon for first baseman Lucas Duda.

Duda has begun hitting soft toss in Port St. Lucie and could take batting practice soon, general manager Sandy Alderson said.

Duda, 30, has been sidelined with a stress fracture in his lower back, and the general consensus seemed to be that the Mets would have to do without him this season. This type of progress, though, means he hasn’t been ruled out for a 2016 return.

Duda has played in only 39 games this season. His last game was on May 20.

Wheeler officially done

In news that should come as no surprise for anyone following Zack Wheeler’s recovery, the righthander has been shut down for the remainder of the season, according to an ESPN report.

Wheeler, recovering from Tommy John surgery performed in March 2015, originally was slated to return around this year’s All-Star break, but that was pushed back. In August, he was diagnosed with a flexor muscle strain that all but precluded him from seeing any major-league action this year.

Montero goes Tuesday

Rafael Montero is scheduled to start for the Mets in Cincinnati on Tuesday, taking the place of Jacob deGrom, who will miss at least one start with right forearm soreness. Montero has appeared in three games for the Mets this season and started one, allowing three runs, seven hits and seven walks in 7 1⁄3 innings. He pitched well in his last outing and only start, allowing no runs in five innings against the Marlins on Monday.


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