Bobby Parnell "pencil thin" after dropping 30 pounds following neck surgery

USA TODAY Sports

Manager Terry Collins is concerned but hopeful that Parnell will be ready for spring training.

Mets closer Bobby Parnell, who had neck surgery on September 10 to correct a herniated disk, has reportedly lost 30 pounds and appears "pencil thin" to the eye of manager Terry Collins. While doctors insist that Parnell will be ready by spring training 2014, Collins is nevertheless concerned about his best reliever:

“As I'm sitting here I'm hoping and praying Bobby Parnell comes back 100 percent I don't know if you saw him but when he left, I'm worried. We've got to find somebody that certainly can pick that role up.”

If Parnell hasn't completely recovered from surgery by next spring, the Mets may well consider Vic Black, acquired from the Pirates in the Marlon Byrd-John Buck trade, for the fireman spot. Black has eleven strikeouts, two walks, and a 3.27 ERA (3.04 FIP) in eleven innings with the Mets.

Parnell's troubles began with neck stiffness during a series against the Marlins at the end of July. He was treated with anti-inflammatories and an epidural, both of which proved ineffectual. He has been on the disabled list since August 6, before which he had struck out 44 and walked just 12 in 50 innings.

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