Mets say Reyes could have surgery

Mets say Reyes could have surgery

CHICAGO -- The Mets, who should have become accustomed to the routine by now, have acknowledged that surgery is a possibility for Jose Reyes, the shortstop who hasn't played in more than three months. The club issued a statement to that effect Friday before the Mets played the Cubs in the first game of a three-game series at Wrigley Field and after a newspaper reported the possibility.

The club's statement did not address another aspect of the report in the New York Daily News that said Reyes' right hamstring tendon is ruptured, not merely torn as the Mets have maintained. Indeed, the club's media notes for the Friday game listed Reyes' injury as "tendinitis behind his right calf," a confusing diagnosis and one that is inconsistent with a diagnosis the club announced weeks after Reyes removed himself from the Mets game' in Los Angeles on May 20. The second diagnosis was that of a partial tear of the hamstring.

The statement issued Friday said: "Jose Reyes continues to receive physical therapy for a torn hamstring tendon behind the right knee. Should he not respond to physical therapy, surgery is an option." General manager Omar Minaya had joined the team here Friday, but he made no comment on Reyes' circumstances.

Reyes has responded to the treatment and therapy, to a degree and seemingly from time to time. Earlier this month the club said he might return before September. But that scenario became unlikely shortly thereafter, and even before the club's acknowledgment Friday, it was clear the expectations for Reyes had more to do with 2010 than this year.

If surgery is required to allow Reyes to play again, it is difficult to say what the procedure will entail. The club prohibits its trainers and medical staff from speaking with the media. The tendon is not essential. In fact, the tendon sometimes is removed from the leg of a player who requires reconstructive elbow or Tommy John surgery and is used to replace the damaged medial collateral ligament in the elbow.

The Daily News report stated that scar tissue is irritating the ruptured tendon and causing significant pain.

Reyes is one of 13 players assigned to the Mets' disabled list. At least four require surgery -- Johan Santana (bone chips in his left elbow), Oliver Perez (tendonosis of his right knee) and Alex Cora. Jeff Francoeur, who is not on the disabled list, had torn ligaments in the left thumb. Reyes' extended absence has forced the Mets to use a series of shortstop understudies -- Cora (54 games), Anderson Hernandez (15), Ramon Martinez (nine), Wilson Valdez (nine), Angel Berroa (six) and Argenis Reyes (one).

Moreover, the Mets have used seven other players as leadoff batters -- Angel Pagan (48), Cora (23), Luis Castillo (14), Daniel Murphy and Cory Sullivan (four each) and Argenis Reyes (one). Jose Reyes started 35.

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.