Sandy: deGrom's UCL sprain has 'resolved'

September 7th, 2021

The Mets provided some clarity on the condition of injured ace on Tuesday.

Team president Sandy Alderson said deGrom has been sidelined with a sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, but that injury has healed and the ligament is "perfectly intact, based on the MRIs and our clinical evaluations through our doctors."

Tuesday marked the first time deGrom's injury had been termed a "sprain." The team had previously described him as battling "right elbow inflammation." But Alderson cautioned that the word sprain was a "technical term ... another term for a very mild ligament condition," and he called deGrom's injury "a very low-grade thing that has resolved itself."

After being shut down on July 30, deGrom, who hasn't pitched in the Majors since July 7, was cleared to start throwing on Aug. 25. As of Sunday, deGrom was still throwing off flat ground at distances of more than 100 feet. A team official said he’s not likely to test himself off a mound until mid-September.

The Mets remain puzzled about the origin of deGrom’s elbow problems.

“I don’t think we know exactly what has caused the problem, but if you were to look at it generally throughout baseball, I think velocity has something to do with a lot of these injuries,” Alderson said before New York faced the Marlins on Tuesday night at loanDepot park. “Whether it’s true in his case or not, I don’t know. I’m not a doctor, I haven’t done all the research. But I suspect there’s a correlation between the velocity that pitchers exhibit today and the rate of injury, which is a concern.”

Alderson said that deGrom’s return this season is still very much up in the air.

He said the same for the return of Noah Syndergaard, whose progress was slowed by his recent positive test for COVID-19.

“Today was his last day of quarantine, or his last days, so we’ll have to ramp him up again,” said Alderson, who added that Syndergaard didn't make the trip to Miami and instead will throw in New York either Wednesday or Thursday.

It was Alderson’s first media appearance since acting general manager Zack Scott was placed on administrative leave following his arrest last week on DWI charges.

“We were all caught by surprise,” Alderson said. “Very unfortunate, and there’s not a lot I can say beyond the statements that we’ve previously made. It’s a criminal case at this point. Until that’s resolved, there really won’t be any further comment from us or anyone else in the organization.”

Alderson said he has had very little communication with Scott in the last week.

“Very little,” Alderson said. “A couple of occasions, checking in to see how he’s doing.”