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2016 Mets season preview: An early injury outlook

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Let's look at the Mets' injuries heading into the 2016 season.

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

With Opening Day about three weeks away, let's take a look at the Mets' injury list and the likelihood of these players returning in time for the April 3 game at Kansas City.

Likely ready for Opening Day

Wilmer Flores

Flores suffered a nondisplaced left ankle fracture while playing winter ball this past November in Venezuela. This means that while the bones of the ankle broke, the bones did not move from its place in the joint. Flores' recovery will have been much longer if the bones left the joint as a result of the fracture. Nevertheless, Flores has had ample time to recover and has appeared in several spring training games so far.

David Wright

Wright has not been on the disabled list however everyone is stressing on how many games he will appear in this season. There is no reason to believe that he will not hit the 120-130 games goal this season given that he understands his condition and knows how to take care of his back resulting in an extended pre-game warm-up and post-game treatment. I want to stress that the stenosis may not be the cause of any future injury, back-related or elsewhere, and as long as Wright continues to maintain his training regimen and takes care of his body (i.e. taking a day off, leaving a game when we are up, etc.) then there is no reason for any prolonged absences from the field.

Might miss Opening Day

Erik Goeddel

Goeddel has suffered a lat strain during spring training and has yet to appear in a spring training game. The latissimus dorsi (aka lat) is a huge muscle in your back that helps generate force as the pitcher begins to move his arm forward after cocking it back. Matz had a similar injury last year and you can read the full write up I wrote last season here. He is expected to make his first appearance on March 20 and should be on his way to a full recovery. Depending on the severity of the strain, Goeddel may miss the first week of the season but should certainly be able to pitch in a game by mid-April.

Matt Reynolds

The injury to Asdrubel Cabrera has created an open spot for middle infielders to start the season. Among the candidates to fill that spot, especially if Tejada gets traded, is Matt Reynolds. Reynolds, who was on the World Series roster due to the Tejada injury, is experiencing a tight right hamstring. His recovery process is similar to Wright's hamstring issues last season. Although he will return to action this week, hamstring injuries are tricky because the muscle can easily be reinjured since it is heavily utilized during running and fielding. The last thing the Mets need is another nagging hamstring injury, particularly to a middle infielder. Reynolds could be fine by Opening Day however this hamstring injury is something to keep an eye on.

Likely to miss Opening Day

Asdrubal Cabrera

Cabrera has strained his left patellar tendon 2 days ago during a spring training and will be shut down for at least two weeks. The patellar tendon connects the patella (aka knee cap) to the tibia (large shin bone). This tendon helps extend the knee as well as making sure the patella moves correctly whenever the knee moves. Given that Cabrera is shut down for 2 weeks, I assume that the strain in minor in nature (Grade 1-2) and should return mid-April. Cabrera received a PRP injection (platelet-rich plasma) to his tendon which will aid his recovery by promoting the blood supply to the injection site and creating faster tissue healing.

Will miss Opening Day

Josh Edgin and Zack Wheeler

Edgin and Wheeler are returning from Tommy John surgery and is expected to return around May 1 and July 1, respectively. It would not surprise me that the Mets' may push back either deadlines to assure no setbacks. Nevertheless, there haven't been any reports of issues with Edgin's or Wheeler's recovery, so at the moment, there is no reason to believe they shouldn't be back on schedule.