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Michael Conforto has right oblique strain, to be reevaluated next week

The opening day status of one of the core pieces of the Mets’ lineup is now in question.

MLB: Spring Training-Miami Marlins at New York Mets Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

We now have more information about the ailment that forced Michael Conforto to be sent back to New York for medical tests. General manager Brodie Van Wagenen has confirmed that the right fielder suffered a right oblique strain, which will cause him to be sidelined for the next week before being reevaluated. Van Wagenen went on to say that it was too early to say whether or not Conforto would miss opening day as a result of this injury—one would think the answer to that question will depend on the results of next week’s tests. Nevertheless, the news casts a gloomy shadow over the Mets, who had seemingly avoided any serious injuries up to this point throughout spring training.

Conforto missing any serious amount of time would be a big blow to the Mets lineup. If he is out, the team will be forced to decide whether to replace him with Dominic Smith’s less-than-stellar outfield defense or Jake Marisnick’s less-than-stellar bat against right-handed pitchers. Alternatively, they could look outside the organization to try to fill in the hole—Yasiel Puig is still a free agent, for instance—if Conforto’s injury proves to be a nagging one. But the team is no doubt hoping that next week’s reassessment will make those other hypothetical moves unnecessary.