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Mets biggest goal before playoffs? Getting back to 100% healthy

Numerous Mets have dealt with back issues this season.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

With the Mets and Dodgers beginning their National League Division Series on October 9, the biggest issue for the Mets until then will be making sure every key player remains healthy, something that seems easier said than done right now.

Steven Matz, Wilmer Flores, and Eric O'Flaherty have all been dealing with back-related problems. While O'Flaherty has struggled since being acquired at the trade deadline, posting a 13.50 ERA in 16 appearances, and is a longshot to make the postseason roster, Matz and Flores have both been meaningful contributors to the playoff-bound Mets and are expected to greatly factor into the team's October plans. Flores has been a consistent bat in his first season as a full-time starter, became a folk hero around the trade deadline, and until the mid-season surges of Curtis Granderson and Lucas Duda, was among the team leaders in home runs and RBIs; he's currently fourth on the team in both categories. Matz, in six starts since being called up in late June, is 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA, and figures to be the fourth starter in the postseason rotation.

O'Flaherty, Matz, and Flores shouldn't be the only players of concern for the Mets; there's also Duda and David Wright, who've each missed significant time this season with back problems. Wright's situation is clearly the more precarious of the two given the severity of his problem and the pre-game routine he goes through just to be on the field every day, though Duda, given the more recent vintage of his injury, should not take any potential problem lightly.

There will be four full days off between Game 162 of the regular season on Sunday and Game 1 of the NLDS. For the Mets, just getting completely healthy during that time will be the first victory of the postseason.