NEW YORK (AP) – Mets pitcher Matt Harvey will be sidelined for several weeks with a stress injury to the scapula bone in the right shoulder, the latest setback to a career already slowed by Tommy John surgery and a Thoracic Outlet Syndrome operation.
The injury-ravaged Mets also put second baseman Neil Walker on the 10-day disabled list with a partially torn left hamstring.
Hours after the Mets made those announcements, they needed to deal with another problem – center fielder Juan Lagares broke his left thumb trying to make a diving catch in an 8-3 loss to Washington.
Mets manager Terry Collins could only shake his head at the mounting hurts.
“How many can we possibly continue to have to play through? But you know what the answer is? As many as pop up. That’s how many you’ve got to play through,” Collins said.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Harvey was expected to go on the DL Friday. The Mets, reticent to be precise with outlooks of injured players, said only that Harvey and Walker are expected to miss “several weeks.”
Alderson said ace Noah Syndergaard, who was expected to be out until after the All-Star break with torn lat muscle, wouldn’t be able to throw for four more weeks. He’s been on the disabled list since May 1, and Alderson said the timetable didn’t reflect any setback.
The Mets recently got slugger Yoenis Cespedes back from a six-week stint on the DL, and closer Jeurys Familia has missed of the season and there’s no timetable for his return.
Harvey had a platelet-rich plasma injection at the Hospital for Special Surgery on Thursday, a day after his fastball averaged 91.8 mph against the Chicago Cubs, down from 94-96.5 mph in his previous starts this season, according to Brooks Baseball.
Harvey was pulled after four innings in a 9-4 win over the Cubs.
“I think the last time I threw 87 (mph) with a fastball was probably freshman year of high school,” he said after the game.
The former ace is 4-3 with a 5.25 ERA in 13 starts.
“He was complaining about a tired arm, a dead arm,” Alderson said.
Alderson said the injury was somewhere between a fracture and a bruise. As for Harvey’s return to the rotation, “the amount of time we expect he will be out is measured in weeks, not months,” he said.
Collins said he spoke with Harvey earlier in the day and “he’s disappointed.”
But Collins added, “it’s still not a bad scenario where you’re looking at another surgery.”
Harvey had a rib removed last year during the thoracic surgery, aimed to fixing the numbness he’d felt in his hand.
While Harvey’s injury was a surprise to the Mets, Walker’s problem was not unforeseen.
Walker tried to bunt for a hit in the third inning Wednesday night and pulled up lame on his way to first base. He fell to the ground and later left with a trainer and Collins.
Walker is hitting .270 with nine homers and 33 RBIs.
Alderson estimated Walker could need two-to-three weeks of rehabilitation, then more time to rejoin the Mets. T.J. Rivera started at second base in the series opener against the Nationals.
Infielder Gavin Cecchini was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to take Walker’s roster spot.
Lagares was hurt trying to catch Anthony Rendon’s bloop single in the fifth inning. The former Gold Glover injured the thumb on his glove hand – he played in place of Michael Conforto, who missed his fourth straight start because of a stiff back.
In other injury news, Alderson said doctors found some “loose bodies” in the elbow of lefty Josh Smoker, who went on the disabled list this week with a strained shoulder.