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Mets injury update: Vic Black may be ready for Opening Day

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Dan Warthen provides an optimistic outlook on Black's status.

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Offering an optimistic update that is contradictory to the one shared by Sandy Alderson, Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen has said that right-handed relief pitcher Vic Black is "right on the cusp" of readiness for the April 6 opener in Washington.

It has been nearly two weeks since Black was originally diagnosed with "shoulder weakness," although the 27-year-old has begun throwing off of flat ground over the past two days, to encouraging results. The next step for Black, who has received anti-inflammatory medication, will be to throw off of a mound. With the regular season less than two weeks away, it is anyone's guess as to whether or not Black will be in game shape by Opening Day, especially considering that he has pitched only two innings this spring.

Having Black available for Opening Day would be a huge boon to a bullpen that has already lost Josh Edgin and, by way of Zack Wheeler's injury, Dillon Gee. Although he struggled at times with his command, Black posted a solid line in 2014 that included 2.60 ERA and a 3.77 FIP over 34.2 innings. When healthy, Black is expected to operate as a setup man to whomever is eventually named the team's closer.