Mets schedule exam for Wheeler after setback

NEW YORK -- Roughly a month shy of Zack Wheeler's scheduled return from Tommy John surgery, the Mets have temporarily shut the right-hander down due to right elbow discomfort. Wheeler is scheduled to fly to New York for an examination on Wednesday by Mets doctors.

Wheeler, 26, had been scheduled to throw a simulated inning this week in Port St. Lucie, Fla., marking his first competitive action since he underwent surgery in March 2015. Though the Mets do not consider this latest issue serious, Wheeler experienced enough elbow discomfort for the team to shut him down and fly him to New York.

"All I can say is he's had a little bit of elbow discomfort," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "He hasn't thrown in a couple of days."

This isn't Wheeler's first setback in his return from surgery. In early April, Wheeler missed time for a second, minor procedure to remove an undissolved stitch from his elbow. That was enough for the Mets to push back Wheeler's expected return from July 1 to just after the All-Star break; the team won't update Wheeler's timetable again until after his visit with doctors.

"We'll know more [Wednesday]," Alderson said. "We'll have a better understanding."

In 2014, his only full season in the Majors, Wheeler went 11-11 with a 3.54 ERA in 32 starts. The Mets have talked about using a six-man rotation at least temporarily upon Wheeler's return, rather than immediately moving Bartolo Colon to the bullpen.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for 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.