Kodai Senga injury: When will Mets get their ace back?

Kodai Senga Mets
Kodai Senga (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Forget May 27 as that benchmark date in which the New York Mets could get their ace, Kodai Senga, back on the mound.

The 31-year-old right-hander will need more time to heal from a strained shoulder suffered in spring training as he hones in on tweaking his mechanics. 

“With my current mechanics, I didn’t think I’d be able to come back at 100 percent,” Senga told reporters on Monday (h/t SNY). “So taking a little bit of time to look over everything, making sure everything is perfect before I get back into games, is the right move.”

Senga had thrown live bullpen sessions in recent weeks, which suggested that he would be ready to go on or near that May 27 date, which was the earliest he could be activated off the 60-day injured list. But uncertainty in his delivery has prompted him and the Mets to press pause.

“All my power output was not going toward the catcher,” Senga said. “I wasn’t able to deliver 100% of it toward the catcher, which is very important. When that is happening, I’m more susceptible to getting hit and also more susceptible to injuries if that continues.”

He threw 45 pitches off a bullpen mound on Sunday and is still expected to throw another bullpen session on Wednesday where he admitted if things go well, he could be back “sooner than later.” Yet it still remains unclear when he can commence his rehab assignment with one of the Mets’ minor-league affiliates — believed to be the last step before rejoining the big-league club.

“It’s a unique situation,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. “I’m trying to learn the individual myself and trying to get to know him and some of the things that he does and he likes to do…At the end of the day, you don’t want to put a player at risk, especially if he’s not feeling the way he thinks he should be feeling.”

Senga is in the second year of a five-year deal where he was expected to take the mantle as the ace in Queens. He finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting last year after going 12-7 with a 2.98 ERA, and 202 strikeouts.

For more on the Mets and Kodai Senga, visit AMNY.com