New York Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese is scheduled to have a follow-up MRI on his shoulder Thursday, reports Kevin Burkhardt of SportsNet New York. If the MRI shows reduced inflammation, the left-hander could begin throwing again.
Niese, 26, has been on the disabled list with a partially torn rotator cuff since June 21, a day after being removed from a game with shoulder pain.
The MRI on Thursday will help determine the next step for Niese in his recovery. Doctors have so far recommended a strengthening program in lieu of surgery. The Mets seem optimistic that the tear is small.
If he were to receive surgery on his shoulder, Niese could be out for upwards of a year. The chances of having such a procedure would go up significantly if the MRI on Thursday shows no signs of the tear healing.
Niese has made 14 starts in 2013, posting a 4.32 ERA and 1.610 WHIP. He had a breakout season in 2012, when he finished with a 3.40 ERA.
Niese's injury helped the Mets temporarily solve their problem of a six-man rotation after calling up top prospect Zach Wheeler. If Niese does not require surgery and can rejoin the rotation, the Mets will still be faced with the prospect of removing a pitcher from the rotation.