New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), the team announced. Wheeler will travel to New York to meet with Dr David Altchek, at the Hospital for Special Surgery to discuss the next steps.
Tommy-John Surgery is a strong possibility, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. If surgery is needed, Wheeler would be out for the entire 2015 season. It will be known whether surgery is needed or whether he can just rehab the injury when he meets with Altchek. Wheeler underwent an MRI on Saturday which revealed the tear.
Zack Wheeler torn ligament. Sounds like Tommy John surgery. #mets
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) March 16, 2015
Wheeler, 24, posted a 11-11 record with a 3.54 ERA in 32 starts in 2014. He had elbow discomfort during the season, but did not miss any game action.
Wheeler felt discomfort again when doing his winter throwing program and the the Mets sent him from his home in Georgia to New York to be examined by team doctors.
During spring training, Wheeler felt discomfort again. At first, the Mets said an MRI was not necessary, the team changed it’s corce if action and Wheeler went for the test which showed the tear.
Pitching is the team’s bright spot, and while this could be a major loss, they have a lot of reinforcements.
It is assumed that if Wheeler is out, Dillon Gee will take his spot in the starting rotation. Gee would have either been traded or would have been in the bullpen if this injury had not happened. It is also possible that Noah Syndegaard or Steven Matz could see significant time in the major leagues now.
The Mets lost left-handed relief pitcher Josh Edgin to Tommy-John Surgery earlier in the week. Matt Harvery is just coming back from having Tommy-John surgery after missing the entire 2014 season due to a torn UCL.