PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets 26th-ranked prospect Chris Flexen, who was scratched from a Grapefruit League start last month due to a sore right knee, recently underwent surgery to remove a bone chip from the knee. He will be sidelined for another two to three weeks, putting his Opening Day in jeopardy.
The Mets' 14th-round pick in the 2012 Draft, Flexen was a good bet to open the season in Double-A Binghamton's rotation, after he went 10-9 with a 3.56 ERA over 25 starts last year for Class A Advanced St. Lucie. The organization thought highly enough of Flexen to add him to its 40-man roster this winter, protecting the 6-foot-3, 235-pound right-hander from the Rule 5 Draft.
But Flexen said he felt soreness in his knee the morning of Feb. 25, his first scheduled Grapefruit League start. Subsequent testing revealed a loose bone chip.
"It was frustrating, especially not knowing until the day of," Flexen said. "I had zero problems, zero pain, zero hiccups, nothing. Just woke up with it swollen."
Flexen will likely remain in extended spring camp to recover. The 22-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery in 2014, but recovered well enough to hit 96 mph with his fastball last summer.
Plawecki returns: Catcher Kevin Plawecki, who had not played since a Feb. 25 collision with Nationals outfielder Rafael Bautista, returned to the Mets' starting lineup Sunday at designated hitter. Plawecki, who suffered a bad left knee bruise on the play, has been taking batting practice since the middle of last week. He should return to catching duties in the coming days.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.