Almora avoids serious injury after hitting wall

X-rays negative, but Mets to conduct more tests; McNeil appears OK after 'body cramps'

May 12th, 2021

NEW YORK -- The Mets lost two members from their dwindling supply of healthy position players on Tuesday, when second baseman Jeff McNeil and Albert Almora Jr. both departed their 3-2 win over the Orioles.

McNeil left after the third inning due to what the Mets called “body cramps,” which manager Luis Rojas later described as leg cramps that creeped into his lower back. He pulled up short as he attempted to stretch a single into a double in the bottom of the third inning and did not return for the top of the fourth. José Peraza replaced McNeil at second base.

The single was McNeil's second of the game, lifting his average to .234. He spent the rest of the game hydrating, in an attempt to get back on the field as soon as possible.

“Right now, he feels like he dodged a bullet,” Rojas said, indicating that McNeil may not miss much if any time.

Five innings later, Almora crumpled to the ground after smashing face-first into the center-field fence. Almora had been in pursuit of an Austin Hays fly ball, which he initially gloved, but lost upon impact with the fence. For several moments, Almora lay face-down on the warning track, slightly bloodied, before ultimately standing and walking off the field under his own power.

“You see a guy crash into the wall like that, you just want to make sure he’s OK,” said Dominic Smith, who replaced Almora in the outfield. “We’re a team. We’re a brotherhood. So to see somebody lay their career on the line like that is pretty awesome. That just gives you more respect and love for the guy. The guy is a warrior.”

As scary as the play looked, X-rays on Almora’s shoulder and neck came back negative. Almora told Rojas that he wanted to stay in the game. Afterward, he tweeted: “I caught it…”

“That was a hard hit on the wall,” Rojas said. “Thank God he got up and was able to be the way he is right now. He was talking and celebrating with the guys after the game.”

Almora will undergo more tests on Wednesday morning to make sure he has indeed avoided the worst. The Mets are already playing without starting third baseman J.D. Davis and center fielder Brandon Nimmo, who are both on the injured list with left hand injuries. Nimmo is the closest to returning, with an eye on the Mets’ series this weekend in Tampa Bay.