Starling Marte still hoping to return in 2023 despite surgery still being on table

Starling Marte Mets
Starling Marte (Associated Press)

QUEENS — Surgery is very much still on the table for New York Mets right fielder Starling Marte as he continues to rehab from a groin issue that stemmed from a procedure done on the area last winter. 

The veteran right fielder has been on the injured list since Aug. 8 when he received an injection in the area. He has since been rehabbing and progressing well after receiving a second opinion and working with a specialist in Philadelphia who has also helped the likes of Sidney Crosby and Tiger Woods. With it comes the hope that he’ll return to action before the end of the 2023 season. 

“That’s the goal,” Marte said. “As long as we continue to progress the way that we want to progress and we keep strengthening everything that we need to, the goal is to go out there and hopefully get back out on the field.” 

The main issue derives from the buildup of scar tissue that Marte described as being “uncomfortable but also a little painful,” which is what most of this rehabilitation work has been attempting to address. Should things continue trending the way they currently are, it’s not something he’ll have to consistently monitor in the future. 

If things don’t continue progressing the way they currently are, though, Marte could have another surgery to try and rectify the issue once and for all. 

“Right now we’ve completely avoided that,” Marte said. “If I hadn’t progressed the way that I was able to progress over this last week with this new guy in Philadelphia, that would have been an option. Since we got a second opinion and we were able to strengthen it and get good results, that’s something that we’ve been able to avoid.

“The focus is to strengthen everything and avoid surgery.”

Another operation would be nearly identical to the double groin surgery he had back in November.

“That would be really frustrating because then the goal would be to rehab and strengthen everything all over again,” Marte said. “You have to put playing a little bit further on the horizon just to continue to strengthen everything…

“You want to avoid surgery. You want to continue to strengthen everything that you need to strengthen, but if they feel like surgery is the course to go, that’ll happen.”

Aside from the lingering groin issue this season, the 34-year-old also dealt with a neck injury that hampered him through the early portions of the season before migraine issues landed him on the injured list in July. 

He’s batting .248 with a .625 OPS this season with five home runs, 28 RBI, and 24 stolen bases.

For more on Starling Marte and the Mets, visit AMNY.com