NEW YORK -- Closer Bobby Parnell's symptoms "are lessening," according to Mets manager Terry Collins, but not to the point that he is ready to begin baseball activities. Parnell has been on the disabled list since July 31 with a herniated disc in his neck, which may require surgery.
"I don't know how big a possibility it is right now," Parnell said of the likelihood of an operation.
Over the next few weeks, Parnell will continue undergoing physical therapy on his neck while he works out his lower body. He will also make regular trips to the doctor, where he will learn if he is able to progress in his rehab.
"I'm pushing as hard as I can," Parnell said. "But they've got the reins."
If he does continue to advance, Parnell will eventually start baseball activities with an eye toward returning before the end of the season. But if that does not happen soon, he will undergo season-ending surgery, which carries a four- to five-month rehabilitation timetable. Prior to his injury, Parnell had logged 22 saves in 26 chances with a career-best 2.16 ERA.
"I'm pushing to get back this season, but the doctors are hesitant and rightfully so," Parnell said. "It's a part of the body where they feel like if I push it too much or come back too quick, there could be some serious damage. It's a fine balancing act."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.