PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Returning to camp on Thursday after a brief stay in New York, Mets right-hander Shaun Marcum insisted that the cortisone shot he received in his right shoulder was nothing more than a precaution.
"I feel like it's part of my Spring Training routine," Marcum said, noting that he received similar injections the past three springs. "It's precautionary to make sure everything's OK. I told [manager] Terry [Collins] and [general manager] Sandy [Alderson] I'd rather miss three days of Spring Training than miss a week or two during the season."
Marcum first approached Mets trainers about his shoulder when he noticed his velocity lacking in Saturday's start against the Marlins. Because he was already scheduled to fly to New York on his off-day to search for a place to live, Marcum met with team orthopedist David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery.
Altchek administered an MRI exam, which revealed no structural damage. But Marcum still received a cortisone injection for what the Mets called an impingement in his shoulder.
The right-hander classified his shoulder discomfort as "pretty much the same issue" that sidelined him for three weeks last spring, but he stopped short of calling it painful.
"As far as pain, not really," Marcum said. "Stiffness, not really. My shoulder flexibility, range of motion, I was a little tighter than I had been prior to that. It's just something we decided to get checked out."
Marcum insisted that the issue will not prevent him from opening the season in the rotation, tentatively debuting in the Mets' second game, against the Padres at Citi Field on April 3.
"I feel strong," Marcum said. "I do. It's just something that, looking back at my last start, my velocity was down a little bit. I said something to the trainers. They really didn't even want to do the injection. I had to talk them into it."