Another MRI for Jonathon Niese

Jonathon Niese is headed back to New York for an MRI on his elbow after being forced to leave Sunday afternoon’s game against the Cardinals after just two innings. It is his second MRI this spring — the same number of starts he has made.

jonathon niese
Jonathon Niese will have as many MRIs as starts this spring.

This is not good for the presumed Opening Day starter, but Niese does not seem concerned.

“It’s the back of the elbow, which is good,” Niese told ESPN New York. “I’m almost 100 percent sure it’s nothing serious like Tommy John or anything. It’s just a little discomfort. I wanted to go back out there. It’s something that I could definitely pitch through.”

Apparently pain that leads to Tommy John surgery is in the forearm area, so that is the good news. But Niese has already had an MRI on his shoulder after complaining of a “dead arm” just a couple of weeks into Spring Training. And don’t forget, he missed two months last season with a partial rotator cuff tear that did not require surgery.

So Jonathon Niese’s left arm does not appear to be in the best of shape. It is too soon to play “what if,” but Niese missing considerable time could be devastating to the Mets pitching rotation. They could be forced to go with two questionable veterans (Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan), or they could (but probably won’t) speed up their timetable for Noah Syndergaard or Rafael Montero.

Jonathon Niese was expected to be the ace of this staff. That is looking more and more unlikely after today.

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