Jacob deGrom has taken the first step toward potentially pitching again this season.
For the first time in nearly a month, deGrom played catch on Wednesday at Citi Field after the MRI he underwent earlier in the day showed enough improvement in his elbow to resume throwing.
Manager Luis Rojas said he did not know the details of the MRI — whether deGrom’s elbow inflammation had completely cleared or just subsided enough to get the green light — but called it “great news for us.”
“We’ll see where we go from here,” Rojas said.
But Wednesday gave hope that he could still make it back before the Mets’ season is over.
Even if he is able to return, it remains to be seen whether deGrom will be pitching in meaningful games, as the Mets entered Wednesday 6 1/2 games back of the Braves for first place in the NL East.
The Mets had 37 games left entering Wednesday.
DeGrom’s last MRI before Wednesday, two weeks ago, showed the inflammation had subsided some, but not enough to give him the green light to begin a throwing program. Acting general manager Zack Scott said on Tuesday that the Mets needed to see “continued improvement” in Wednesday’s MRI in order for deGrom to be cleared.
Before going on the 10-day injured list with forearm tightness on July 15 — he was recently transferred to the 60-day IL, meaning he won’t be back before Sept. 13 and likely not right away once he’s eligible — deGrom was in the midst of an historic season.
In 15 starts, he had posted a 1.08 ERA with 146 strikeouts in 92 innings.
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