Conforto day to day after cortisone shot in wrist

Mets left fielder hoping cartilage damage will repair itself

Conforto day to day after cortisone shot in wrist

NEW YORK -- In the midst of his worst slump as a professional, Michael Conforto received a diagnosis on Monday of cartilage damage in his left wrist. Conforto received a cortisone injection into the wrist and is day to day.

"The plan right now is just to take a day or two to let the shot sink in and take effect," Conforto said. "It feels pretty good today."

Doctors will continue to monitor Conforto over the coming months to see if the cartilage in his wrist will repair itself, or if he will ultimately need surgery to remove it.

In the interim, he and the Mets hope the diminished wrist pain will allow Conforto to bust out of his slump. Though Conforto insists he has not been feeling much discomfort during games -- "I could feel it taking BP, taking practice swings and stuff like that," he said -- the outfielder did feel it enough to request a trip to the doctor.

Since the start of May, Conforto is hitting .151 with a .525 OPS in 35 games. Given his injury status, the Mets are not currently discussing a demotion to Triple-A Las Vegas, though they have successfully used that tactic in the past with first baseman Lucas Duda and catcher Travis d'Arnaud.

"That's sort of a gut feel," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "There's no perfect answer or formula for when it's right for a player to go down, or when it's right for a player to fight through it."

Worth noting
Zack Wheeler, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, is scheduled to dip his toe into game action with a simulated inning in Port St. Lucie, Fla., early next week. If all goes well, he should begin a Minor League rehab assignment shortly thereafter. The Mets continue to target just after the All-Star break for Wheeler's big league return.

"I think that makes the most sense," Alderson said. "Based on everything that Zack has experienced over the last few weeks, we just decided that it wasn't worth it to push it."

• The Mets are targeting a June 21 return from the DL for d'Arnaud, who has been sidelined since April 25 with a partially torn right rotator cuff. Currently on a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced St. Lucie, d'Arnaud is tentatively scheduled to move on to Las Vegas before returning to the Mets.

• Though outfielder Juan Lagares was originally scheduled to start Tuesday's game, the Mets went with Alejandro De Aza because Lagares is suffering from a toothache.

• Second baseman Neil Walker saw a chiropractor over the weekend in Milwaukee and a doctor upon arriving back in New York. The Mets consider his back tightness minimal, but held him out of Tuesday's lineup anyway. Walker was available to pinch-hit if needed, and should return to the starting lineup on Wednesday.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.