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Marcum sidelined with nerve inflammation

NEW YORK -- Right-hander Shaun Marcum has been shut down for 48 hours after receiving injections to relieve nerve inflammation in his neck, the Mets announced Thursday, keeping his immediate future in limbo.

An MRI administered earlier Thursday revealed the nerve inflammation, which forced Marcum off the mound earlier this week in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The right-hander received trigger-point injections to relieve his pain and will rest for the next two days.

The Mets officially classified Marcum as "day-to-day," but it is clear that he will not return to active duty any time soon. Marcum has not appeared in an official game in nearly three weeks, and even if he is healthy, he will need time to regain his regular arm strength.

In the interim, the Mets will proceed with a patchwork rotation. Left-hander Aaron Laffey is unofficially scheduled to start Sunday against the Marlins, and manager Terry Collins said Laffey could remain in the rotation if he pitches well.

The Mets guaranteed Marcum $4 million when they signed him this winter to a Major League deal. Marcum's contract also includes $2 million worth of incentives, most of them based upon how often he pitches. The right-hander, who has a long history of right elbow and shoulder trouble, has dealt with varying levels of arm and neck pain since March.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo.
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