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Steven Matz cleared for regular offseason program

Steven Matz #32 of the New York Mets

Steven Matz #32 of the New York Mets looks on from the dugout in the sixth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Mets lefthander Steven Matz said doctors have given him permission to return to his regular offseason routine, which will allow him to begin throwing for the first time since he had surgery in October to remove a bone spur from his elbow.

“I got cleared,” Matz told WOR radio Thursday. “The doctors said you’re good to go, progress with your normal offseason.”

Matz, 25, endured a season littered with injuries. He pitched through the painful bone spur that was revealed in June, but another issue popped up, an impingement that caused inflammation in his left shoulder.

This time Matz could not pitch through the condition. He started Aug. 14, but his shoulder injury prevented repeated attempts at a comeback.

“It had its moments,” Matz said of the pain in his elbow. “Some days were worse than others. Some days it wasn’t even there. I think that’s why it wasn’t a no-brainer to just end the season in June and go get [surgery]. That’s why I was like, I think I can fight through this, it’s not causing any damage to any other parts of my elbow.”

Matz said it’s unclear whether his elbow issue was related to his shoulder problem. But unlike the elbow, the shoulder is not expected to require surgery.

When healthy, Matz enjoyed a solid season, finishing 9-8 with a 3.40 ERA in 22 starts. But as has been a common theme throughout his career, the Ward Melville product struggled to stay on the field.

Matz, who recently got engaged, counted himself among those who were glad the Mets re-signed slugger Yoenis Cespedes.

“It’s really exciting,” he told WOR. “He’s a guy who makes a big difference in that lineup. He can hit for average, hit homers. Having him around is awesome.”

New York Sports