NEW YORK -- Famous for playing his entire career without an ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, R.A. Dickey will now attempt to pitch with a damaged connective tissue in his foot.
An MRI exam taken Friday revealed a partial tear of the plantar fascia in Dickey's right foot, the result of a sudden movement in Thursday's game against the Cubs. Doctors have told Dickey that he can do no further structural damage to his foot, allowing the knuckleballer to proceed with his normal between-starts routine.
If all goes well during his bullpen session Sunday, Dickey will make his next scheduled start on Tuesday against the Pirates.
"I'd be surprised if I don't," he said.
Doctors explained to Dickey that the plantar fascia is a superficial connective tissue; even if he tears it completely, he should still be able to pitch with the injury. Unsure if he will undergo surgery to repair the tear after the season, Dickey is nonetheless confident he can pitch for the remainder of this year.
"I feel like if it's just a matter of managing the symptoms, that I'll be out there," said Dickey, who estimated that his foot felt 60 percent better on Friday than the previous day.
Falling to the ground in pain after making a sudden move toward first base in Thursday's game against the Cubs, Dickey initially feared that he would have to miss significant time. Though the Mets have made contingency plans in the event that Dickey cannot make his next start, they will wait until the knuckleballer throws his bullpen session before setting any such plans into motion.
For now, they are confident that Dickey can pitch.
"Worst-case scenario is we just move him back a few days," manager Terry Collins said.
Added Dickey: "Everybody's pretty optimistic about me not missing anything."