Everybody’s worst fears were confirmed on Monday when the Mets announced the results of Noah Syndergaard’s unfortunately delayed MRI — he has a partial lat tear. Now he is out indefinitely.
The Mets said in a statement:
“Pitcher Noah Syndergaard underwent an MRI this morning at the Hospital for Special Surgery. The MRI revealed a partial tear of the right lat muscle. At this point, there is no timeframe for his return. He will be placed on the 10-day disabled list.”
“No timeframe” is a scary statement that speaks to the seriousness of the matter.
Syndergaard left Sunday’s game, clutching under his right underarm in pain. The righty missed his start last Thursday with what was called bicep tendonitis. In a move that could end up to be one of the most infamous in the Mets checkered injury history, Syndergaard refused to have an MRI, saying he knew his body better than anyone else and insisted he was fine.
Well, he was not fine. It may be impossible to know whether an MRI could have caught the problem before it became a tear; perhaps the pain was a warning sign that it was getting ready to tear. So maybe an earlier MRI would have seen that, and shutting him down could have avoided it. Maybe not. Who knows?
This one can be hung on Noah Syndergaard for refusing the team’s recommendation. But the Mets have to share the blame here — while Syndergaard has the right to refuse any medical test, the Mets have the right to stop Syndergaard from taking the mound. If they thought there was a problem that required an MRI, they should not have let him pitch. But then Syndergaard would have complained, the Players Association would have gotten involved, and it would have been a mess.
Regardless of any of that, this is yet another failure of the Mets medical staff. It is incomprehensible that this keeps happening. From Ryan Church being allowed to play and fly with a concussion to wrongly placing Ike Davis’s injured ankle in a walking boot to the mishandling of countless other injuries, this has to stop. Maybe the aforementioned Players Association needs to step in. After all, it is supposed to be protecting its players, and it is clear the Mets medical team is incapable of doing that.
In any case, Noah Syndergaard will miss a significant amount of time, and the Mets season is looking a lot more grim.