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deGrom could make next start after clean MRI

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- Jacob deGrom and the Mets avoided a potentially season-altering scare, as an MRI on the right-hander's pitching elbow revealed no structural damage, the Mets announced Thursday. He will attempt to make his next start on Monday in Cincinnati.

deGrom plans to resume playing catch on Friday and to throw a bullpen session Saturday, both of which the Mets will closely monitor. But there is optimism within the organization that deGrom will have no trouble making his next start.

NEW YORK -- Jacob deGrom and the Mets avoided a potentially season-altering scare, as an MRI on the right-hander's pitching elbow revealed no structural damage, the Mets announced Thursday. He will attempt to make his next start on Monday in Cincinnati.

deGrom plans to resume playing catch on Friday and to throw a bullpen session Saturday, both of which the Mets will closely monitor. But there is optimism within the organization that deGrom will have no trouble making his next start.

"I think I'll be fine," deGrom said Thursday morning. "I feel good today. We'll have a day where we get some treatment in, and go from there."

Swinging through a pitch in the third inning Wednesday, deGrom winced in pain -- something he says he has experienced on several swings and misses this season. He didn't think much of it at the time, but when he returned to the mound for the top of the fourth, deGrom began experiencing discomfort in his right biceps. It was enough for him to alert manager Mickey Callaway, who removed him from the game.

Video: ATL@NYM: deGrom exits early with hyperextended elbow

The right-hander departed through the home dugout tunnel at Citi Field with his hands on his hips. Soon after, the Mets later diagnosed his injury as a hyperextension of the right elbow. A subsequent MRI revealed nothing more sinister than that, prompting team physician Dr. David Altchek to clear deGrom to throw.

"They asked me just to be honest with them -- if I feel something, say something," said deGrom, who is 3-0 with a 1.87 ERA in seven starts. "I told them I feel pretty good today. They said, 'All right, let's go from there.'"

deGrom spent Thursday morning receiving treatment in the Mets' clubhouse. He will play catch off flat ground on Friday, throw a bullpen session Saturday and, if all goes well, be cleared officially to make his next start. As a deference to his injury, deGrom will throw just one bullpen session between starts as opposed to his usual two, and will cease taking batting practice until further notice. Otherwise, the Mets consider the situation status quo.

Video: deGrom cleared to prepare for his next start

"We're going to really home in on him and make sure everything is 100 percent," manager Mickey Callaway said. "It felt good to sit there and hear that news and talk to Jacob, just knowing that he's in a better spot than we thought coming out of the game last night."

For a club that weathered a bevy of injuries to its starting rotation in 2017 following consecutive postseason runs, the Mets entered this season believing they could contend as long as they remained healthy. deGrom was a significant part of that; one of only two Mets to spend all last season on the active roster, deGrom dodged the disabled list while fellow starters Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler and Robert Gsellman all suffered injuries.

For about 12 hours, the Mets feared that might change, until deGrom's MRI came back clean.

"It didn't feel good, but we got good news today," deGrom said. "We're going to see how it feels tomorrow, and go from there."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom