June 26, 2022

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Mets’ Max Scherzer headed for extended absence, sports doctor says

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The New York Mets got off to a hot start, despite star pitcher Jacob deGrom being injured, and now they will likely be without Max Scherzer until the All-Star break.

Scherzer abruptly left Wednesday’s game after a pitch, signaling he was done.

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New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer hands the ball to manager Buck Showalter during the sixth inning of the team’s baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, in New York. 
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The “zing” he felt in his side turned out to be a significant oblique strain. “Moderate to high-grade” as reported means there is tearing of the muscle.

Max Scherzer #21 of the New York Mets pitches during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on May 18, 2022 in New York City.
(Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Oblique muscles are part of the torso and important for core stabilization and trunk twisting vital to a pitcher’s success. The fact that it is the left side on a right-handed pitcher makes it worse, as the opposite oblique does the twisting work to help generate power.

Scherzer is expected to be out 6-8 weeks and has yet to be placed on the injured list. Expect him to hit the 60-day IL, which would mean he would be out until the later part of July.

The Mets are now down three starting pitchers. In addition to Scherzer and deGrom, Tylor Megill is on the 15-day IL with tendonitis in his right bicep.

New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer reacts during St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols’ at-bat during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 18, 2022, in New York. 
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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The only good news is that, unlike deGrom, once Scherzer is back, he should be able to be full-go as recovery from oblique muscle strain is predictable with low chance of aggravation.