ATLANTA — The Mets can breathe, at least for now.
One day after Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes and Zack Wheeler endured health scares, the Mets reiterated Thursday that all three have dodged major injuries.
“Huge relief,” manager Terry Collins said.
Syndergaard is scheduled to pitch against the Nationals on Monday after exams cleared him of structural damage. He complained of discomfort in his right elbow during Wednesday’s start against the Royals.
Syndergaard said he felt uncomfortable from the beginning of that start, though his elbow issue had more of an effect on his control as the game went along. He no longer could finish his pitches.
“When it comes to elbows, I really don’t like to screw around with those,” Syndergaard said. “When it’s bothering me, I’m going to speak up and voice my opinion about it. It turned out to be nothing and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.”
It was his second false alarm of the season, which he chalked up to “basic wear and tear.”
Assistant general manager John Ricco likened Syndergaard’s latest elbow issue to one he endured in May, when the team sent him for an MRI exam after he complained of discomfort. “With our top guys, we’ve asked them to be more forthcoming, so we encourage them to tell us what’s going on,” Ricco said. “We’re going to keep a close eye on them, but I don’t think it’s an indication of anything.”
Syndergaard reported his elbow discomfort to pitching coach Dan Warthen after throwing six innings on Wednesday. When Collins caught wind of the development, he pulled him from the game, in line with the Mets’ efforts to exercise caution with their young arms.
“A lot of this is coming from us as opposed to him,” Ricco said. “I don’t want to paint him as a guy who every minute is ‘Oh, this hurts,’ because he’s not that at all. But we’re pretty adamant about him letting us know what’s going on. Once we hear anything, like I said, we’re going to have it checked out.”
Cespedes is day-to-day with a sprained left wrist. Though he was given the day off by Collins — one day after undergoing a cortisone shot — Cespedes insisted he’s ready to return to the lineup. “Right now, I’m ready to play,” he said through an interpreter. “The manager said he was going to give me a day off.”
He said he endured a similar wrist issue in 2013 and that it cost him only a few days. He had been playing through his latest wrist issue for about a week. “Finally, yesterday, I couldn’t hold it anymore,” he said. “And I went to [trainer Ray Ramirez] to let them know what was going on.”
Wheeler is headed back to the team’s complex in Port St. Lucie, where he soon will resume his rehab from Tommy John surgery. He was diagnosed with sensory nerve irritation, but exams revealed no structural issues. He received a cortisone shot. “Everything looked good,” Ricco said. He added that his rehab schedule will be hashed out in the coming days.
Steven Matz is scheduled to pitch Friday night. He complained of elbow tightness after his last start. Bartolo Colon is slated to start Sunday after suffering a bruised right thumb Tuesday. He was in New Jersey on Thursday to attend his son’s graduation.
Lucas Duda, recovering from a stress fracture in his back, remains confined to riding an exercise bike.