Jacob deGrom discusses rehab for shoulder blade injury

Jacob deGrom discusses rehab for shoulder blade injury

NEW YORK — All the evidence suggests that Jacob deGrom is about to step onto a mound for the first time since March, which will be his biggest test since being diagnosed with a stress reaction in his right shoulder blade at the end of spring training. If things continue to progress well, a reasonable schedule would see deGrom return to the Mets in late June or early July.

deGrom, however, insists he is unaware of his schedule, and Mets officials — while offering relative transparency with other injured players — tend to talk about the status of the two-time award winner. Cy Young. All that’s clear is that deGrom is getting closer and that when he finally returns to the Mets — whether in June, July or beyond — he won’t do so with the slightest fear of re-injury. the shoulder.

“You can’t go there in fear,” deGrom said Saturday in his first public comments since early April. “Do your best to prepare and go out there and play the game. I don’t think a lot of guys go out and worry about getting hurt. You go out there and compete, and you leave it all there. I came back from Tommy John in the minor leagues, and I think that was probably the biggest hurdle.

This weekend, deGrom long threw distances up to 135 feet. The next logical step would be to throw a bullpen session, as most rehab pitchers do once they clear 120 feet of flat ground. deGrom said he intends to have that discussion with team officials in the coming days, but he did not commit to a timeline for laying a mound.

Since mid-April, deGrom said, his shoulder felt normal during daily activities. Doctors cleared him to start throwing in early May, and he has since stepped up the intensity of that program. He will no longer need MRIs or CT scans to progress through his rehabilitation program.

deGrom hasn’t pitched in a Major League game since July 7, due to the stress reaction in his shoulder and right elbow inflammation that cost him half of last season. But now?

“I feel completely normal,” he said. “So I think that’s how it’s going to be, are we pushing it? Right? That’s going to be the discussion for the next few days. And when we get to the mound, what’s the safest way to go about it?

deGrom intends to err on the side of caution for several reasons. The first is that he believes a rapid ramp-up in spring training after seven months out of action contributed to his latest injury. Two is that the team is doing well — so well, in fact, that they’ve built the biggest division lead in baseball despite major injuries to him and Max Scherzer. A setback now could cost deGrom a lot of time. A slower build could help him stay healthy through October.

“That’s another thing – when you’re trying to decide whether to come back too soon or not, you’re kind of looking at the long term,” deGrom said. “The team is playing very well and you want to be there until the end of the year. It’s about trying to walk that fine line of being safe and not trying to do it too quickly.

While in rehab in Florida, deGrom “watched very closely” how the Mets fared without him. He moved his rehab to New York this week, which is another indication that he intends to start soon. It’s just the details of his timeline that remain in question.

Pitching coach Jeremy Hefner recently said deGrom will need three to five starts in rehab in the minors, and deGrom backed that up by saying he’ll need to stretch for at least four innings. It’s a process that will take weeks, bringing deGrom online for a return in late June at the earliest.

“I don’t really have [reservations], after talking to the doctors,” he said. “Normally the bone heals stronger. So the last report was good, and they said it’s fully healed. Now it’s just to make sure he handles the throw and nothing pops up But the way it’s been so far, I feel good.

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