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Injured Mets ace Scherzer throws 3 innings in simulated game

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NEW YORK – Max Scherzer may soon return to the New York Mets rotation.

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The three-time Cy Young Award winner scored 50 goals in Thursday’s simulation game at Citi Field while recovering from a left oblique strain. If he continues to feel good, the right-hander plans to begin minor league rehab next Tuesday — and it’s at least possible that he could return to the Mets after that.

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“It’s too hard to guess because you go to the next level, you can get too stressed out on it. You don’t want to start thinking further than you can. It’s a complex injury,” Scherzer said.

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“So, I would like to tell you that I can start rehab once and I will feel great and I am going to come back. I would like to say that I can do it. Is it possible? Yes. But the reality is that I could very easily start rehab, make it stressful, and want to do it again before I actually get into the big league game. So I’m very aware that I have to recover from this injury and I’m very, very focused on not failing.”

However, Scherzer isn’t worried about getting fully stretched again before starting big league play.

“I don’t mind being a little limited. If I can get back here with 70-80 shots, give me the ball,” he said.

As such, it appears that the earliest time Scherzer can apply for the Mets will be June 26 in Miami. It will be 5 1/2 weeks after he was injured in the opening game against St. Louis on May 18.

After testing revealed the oblique deformity, Metz said that Scherzer’s injury usually requires six to eight weeks of recovery.

A second rehab start in the minors will likely push back Scherzer’s return to the weekend of July 1-3 at home against Texas. But even this forecast, of course, does not imply any failures.

“Hopefully tomorrow he will feel good and we can take the next step,” said manager Buck Showalter. “He knows his body. He knows his hand.

Scherzer simulated three possibilities, facing the Mets’ backup catcher. Patrick Mazeika and two minor league players.

“Did exactly the way I thought I was going to do it, with the second inning being the most intense,” Scherzer said. “I felt good all the time. I threw all the fields, so everything is fine.

According to Showalter, he approached the session with his typical intensity.

“He was thrilled and you could tell how much he enjoyed being back on the hill here at Citi Field,” Showalter said.

Scherzer, who turns 38 next month, is 5-1 with a 2.54 ERA over eight starts in his first season with the Mets after signing a three-year, $130 million free agent deal.

In New York, too, there is not enough comrade-ace Jacob de Grom, sidelined for the entire season due to a stress reaction in his right shoulder blade. The two-time Cy Young Award winner has not played since July 7 last year due to an elbow injury.

The right-hander, who turns 34 on Sunday, made 30 passes on Tuesday in his fourth bullpen meeting and has an up-and-down bullpen scheduled for Friday.

New York still had the best record in the National League, 41-23 ahead of Thursday night’s final series against Milwaukee. But the Mets’ 10 1/2-game stock in the NL East was reduced to four on June 1, thanks to Atlanta’s 14-game winning streak.


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