There have been few bright spots this season for a Mets team that has taken three steps backward for every step forward.
Another setback occurred Thursday when All-Star outfielder Michael Conforto dislocated his left shoulder on a hard swing through a pitch from the Diamondbacks’ Robbie Ray in the fifth inning. Conforto immediately fell, clutching his shoulder, and trainer Ray Ramirez had to help him leave the field.
Conforto was unavailable after the game, but his season could be over. In an updated medical report Thursday night, the Mets said X-rays were negative but an MRI revealed that Conforto has a tear in the posterior capsule of the shoulder and “all treatment options, including possible surgery to repair the capsule, are being considered.’’ He will be put on the disabled list Friday.
“It turns your stomach,” Terry Collins said after the Mets’ 3-2 loss at Citi Field. “A player who’s having a tremendous year and really making a name for himself, to go down like that and with that kind of an injury, it’s tough to watch.”
Conforto, who was the Mets’ lone All-Star representative in Miami, is hitting .279 with 27 home runs and 68 RBIs.
Collins said he thought Conforto had a history with a similar injury, but a Mets spokesman was unaware of any previous injury to his shoulder while in the organization.
As for the other injured Mets:
After it was announced that Zack Wheeler will be shut down for the season to recover from a “stress reaction” in his right arm, he said: “The situation that we’re in, why push it and risk actually breaking the bone when next year looks a little more important than right now?”
Wheeler said the injury was disappointing because his “elbow felt fine, shoulder felt good” after a two-year layoff while rehabbing after Tommy John surgery.
Steven Matz also provided updates after undergoing successful surgery Wednesday to relocate the ulnar nerve in his left elbow.
“Right now, I’m going back on Friday and getting this wrap off and getting the brace put on,” he said. “It’s pretty much just take it easy for the next 10 days or so until the stitches come out, then we’ll reassess from there.”
Noah Syndergaard was scheduled to throw live batting practice Wednesday but had it pushed back. He will head to Port St. Lucie, Florida, to continue rehabbing after suffering a partially torn lat muscle on April 30, and it remains unclear whether he will return this season.
Tyler Pill underwent elbow surgery Thursday, presumably ending his season.
That all outweighed the positive news of Jeurys Familia’s impending return ahead of Friday night’s series opener against the host Nationals.
“I feel great,” said Familia, who has missed three months with a blood clot in his right shoulder that he said occasionally made his middle finger numb and his hand cold. “I feel like my first day in the big leagues. I’m so excited. Most importantly is my arm is great.”
Collins said Familia won’t be thrust back into the closer’s role. He’ll instead use him in lower-leverage situations, with AJ Ramos sticking to the ninth inning for now.
There also was positive news on Matt Harvey, who will pitch in a rehab game in Port St. Lucie on Saturday, the same day that Jose Reyes is eligible to come off the disabled list. Seth Lugo is expected to throw a bullpen session Friday, and Collins said he’s a candidate to pitch Sunday.
For the Mets, at this point, any positive news is worth celebrating.