This past week has not been kind to the New York Mets as Juan Lagares, Jose Reyes, and now Asdrubal Cabrera are expected to miss some time due to injury. Here's what lies in store for these players as the Mets push into the dog days of summer.
I first wrote about Lagares's thumb injury about a month ago and expected him to return right around this time, assuming the Mets did not rush him back into the lineup as soon as they did. Although Lagares was able to play with his thumb not 100%, the decision was ultimately made to have the surgery to repair that partially torn thumb UCL. It has been reported that he will be out for six weeks, however, it would not be a surprise if he missed seven or eight weeks before returning to the team. From my original injury analysis, here's what the recovery process will be like:
Because the UCL is partially torn, surgery is not necessarily required. With the nonsurgical route, the thumb is splinted for about three weeks before beginning rehab. As soon as the splint is removed, the medical staff will work with Lagares towards regaining full range of motion and grip strength before starting any sport-specific activity.
Reyes was placed on the 15-day DL with a Grade 1 intercostal strain on his left rib cage. Intercostal muscles are in between the ribs and act to move the ribs as you breathe. For this reason, this injury is quite painful given that you are not able to breathe properly. From a treatment standpoint, rest is very important for an injury like this as there are very few exercises to strengthen the intercostal muscles. Specific exercises will target his breathing and making sure each rib has the appropriate mobility as the chest expands, however a lot of what Reyes will do is continue strengthening his core muscles and maintain his strength for his upper and lower body. Typically, a player takes about three weeks for full recovery but given the myriad injuries sustained this season by the Mets and the lack of depth as a result, Reyes may return much sooner than that.
Cabrera left Sunday's game with a strained patellar tendon as he was running to score on a Neil Walker triple. The patellar tendon is a strong connective tissue that connects the patella (knee cap) to the tibia (shin bone). The tendon plays a role in making sure the patella moves appropriately as you flex and extend your knee. The severity of the strain is unknown, however it typically takes about three-to-four weeks to fully recover from a Grade 1 strain (slight tearing) and about six-to-eight weeks for a Grade 2 strain (partially torn). Surgery would be required if its a complete rupture of the tendon, effectively ending his season.
Recovery for a patella tendon strain would require correcting any muscle imbalance there may be between his quads and hamstrings, in addition to strengthening his core and hip muscles. Stretches will be given to loosen any tight muscles and exercises will tailor towards improving his strength, balance, and power (all basic components for speed and agility).
When will they be back?
Lagares should return by the end of the season and Reyes will likely be back by the middle of August. It is unknown right now how much time Cabrera will miss but one can anticipate that end of August is the best-case scenario.