JUPITER, Fla. - Zack Wheeler said it's possible that he could face a slightly longer rehab time after Tommy John surgery.
The Mets righthander initially mentioned a 14-month rehab after having surgery on March 25. But in addition to a torn ulnar collateral ligament, surgeons also repaired a tendon tear that was discovered in the offseason.
Wheeler. 24. said the tendon issue could tack on an extra month. That would push back his estimated return to late June or early July, though he has cautioned against setting a firm target. "Guys heal differently," he said.
With ace Matt Harvey coming back from Tommy John surgery, the Mets spent part of the offseason doing research on optimal rehab times. They came away with some evidence that pitchers fared better after timelines of roughly 18 months, which is where Harvey stands.
Assistant general manager John Ricco recently said, however, that Wheeler's rehab process has yet to progress to the point of hashing out details.
The Mets believe Daniel Murphy (hamstring) will be healthy enough for Opening Day.
"The plan is for him to meet us in Washington [on Sunday]," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "And that's a significant upgrade in his status from a couple of days ago."
Murphy went 1-for-5 with a homer in a minor-league game in Port St. Lucie. He will remain in Florida to play in minor- league games before heading for Washington, where the Mets will make a final determination.
Curtis Granderson left Thursday's 0-0 Grapefruit League finale against the Cardinals after taking a pitch off his right knee. He experienced soreness and swelling but insisted he could have continued had it been a regular-season game . . . The Mets awarded infielder Matt Reynolds the John Murphy Award, given annually to the best performer among players in their first big-league camp. In 21 games, he hit .400.