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Wheeler Reminds Us TJ Rehab Doesn’t Always Go Smoothly

Last year, we were all spoiled by Matt Harvey‘s return from Tommy John surgery. Even if it took him almost a full season to find his slider, he pitched well, and he was healthy all year. We forgot that he had major surgery and issues can arise during either the surgery or rehabilitation period. 

We forgot about former Mets like Jason Isringhausen, who had three Tommy John surgeries. We forgot about Jeremy Hefner, who was rehabbing from his Tommy John surgery at the same time as Harvey. During his rehab, something went wrong, and he had to have a second Tommy John surgery. Mets released him, and now he’s working his way back to the majors through the Cardinals’ organization. Harvey made us forget about all that could go wrong. 

Now, there are reports that Zack Wheeler needed to have minor surgery to remove a stitch that didn’t resolve from his Tommy John surgery.  He’s going to need two weeks off to allow the wound to heal. He’s now at least two more weeks further away from pitching in the 2016 season. 

It’s a reminder that while we all look forward to Wheeler toeing the rubber again, it’s far from a foregone conclusion that’ll happen. There’s still every possibility that Wheeler could have another setback on his road back. In reality, until further notice, Bartolo Colon is the Mets’ fifth starter. Overall, anything the Mets get from Wheeler this year is an unexpected bonus. 

We forgot all of that during Harvey’s 2015 season. We’re now reminded of it again. Let’s all wish Wheeler a speedy recovery and wait for the day that he’s once again pitching for the Mets . . . whenever that might be. 

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