PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Previously declared a “full go” by the Mets almost a year and a half after his Tommy John surgery, infielder T.J. Rivera has backed off baseball activities due to discomfort in his right elbow.
Rivera did not throw during a defensive drill Thursday, and he was wearing a large brace — covering his elbow and forearm — that he said is meant to prevent hyperextension.
Downplaying the severity of the new achiness, Rivera said it’s different from the elbow sprain that ended his minor-league rehabilitation assignment (and ended his season) last July.
“It’s definitely not the same pain,” Rivera said. “It’s just a little discomfort. Before (in July), I felt like I couldn’t really do much baseball-wise, when I had that.
“I’m not concerned about it. But I’m just more trying to be aware and making sure my arm is ready to go so I can compete on a daily basis.”
Rivera said he has been picking the brains of the Mets’ other former Tommy John patients, particularly lefthander Steven Matz, about their experience.
“My mind is OK. I’m OK right now,” Rivera said. “But yeah, sometimes it can get a little tough when you just don’t know what you’re supposed to feel.
“I’m just keeping a positive mindset. I’m keeping it even. Obviously I’d love to be out there competing right now with the guys and getting back into baseball, because it has been a while. I would love to be out there. I’m not letting it get to me. I’m just trying to find a way to get past it and get back to going out there and competing.”