A clearer picture will not come until Thursday, when the Mets receive a second opinion on Pelfrey's injured right elbow from Dr. James Andrews. What Andrews tells the Mets could determine whether Pelfrey ultimately rehabs, receives an injection to reduce the inflammation, or undergoes season-ending surgery.
"Once we get the full diagnosis, we'll have a better idea of what it is and be able to go from there," Pelfrey said late Wednesday night. "I don't want to elaborate because I don't really know anything."
The fear is that Pelfrey has suffered a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament, which could require surgery depending on the size of the tear. Though Pelfrey was upbeat after the Mets placed him on the disabled list Tuesday with elbow inflammation, citing his mid-90s velocity in his last outing, the Mets are not as convinced of his health.
"I'm really cautious right now," manager Terry Collins said.
Regardless of his ultimate diagnosis, Pelfrey will miss at least two starts, and likely more than that. General manager Sandy Alderson estimated Tuesday that the most conservative course of action -- rehab, not surgery -- could sideline Pelfrey for a full month, with other options spanning longer time frames.
Though Collins indicated that Pelfrey could potentially pitch through a small ligament tear -- "you're talking about a big, strong man," the manager said -- the Mets are unlikely to gamble on a key member of their rotation.
With Pelfrey's next turn in the rotation due up Friday, the Mets will almost certainly call up Chris Schwinden from Triple-A Buffalo to replace him.
Sporting a 2.05 ERA in four starts with Buffalo, Schwinden has given up two runs over his last two outings, a span of 13 innings.