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Steven Matz is eager to start on Friday

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The hometown hero wants to contribute to the playoff push.

Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

In discussion with MLB.com correspondent Alyson Footer, Mets pitcher Steven Matz claimed there was no reason he couldn’t start for the team on Friday. The lefty is set to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday, with the possibility of a Friday start dependent on things going well. Matz, however, is already optimistic, emphasizing how glad he is to be back with the team in his discussion with Footer. Matz was placed on the 15-day disabled list on August 22 with shoulder tightness.

Matz’s return can’t come soon enough, as injuries to Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom have rendered Noah Syndergaard the only remaining ace on the Mets’ roster. Syndergaard also took a loss against the Braves on Monday, reinforcing the notion that nothing is a guarantee when a pitcher takes the mound. In any case, the Mets would certainly be better off with a pitcher of Matz’s caliber taking starts in the postseason.

At the same time, Matz has a history of injury, and the Mets are likely to be careful about rushing him back too early. Despite his enthusiasm to return, the team has gotten surprising production from Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman, and Matz figures to be an important part of the team’s future, so re-aggravating an injury could be devastating. If he’s all set to go, though, the Mets definitely have a better shot this year than they otherwise would have had.