Mets’ Taijuan Walker still recovering from knee surgery

PORT ST. LUCIE — Taijuan Walker’s right knee could be the biggest threat to the Mets as they open the season with their starting rotation intact.

The right-hander underwent surgery to remove damaged knee tissue on January 14, according to manager Buck Showalter, and there’s “a chance” he’s ready to start the season.

The team later released a statement saying Walker had been cleared to play baseball and was throwing a mound. It will remain in a running progression before being cleared for full play activity.

If Walker isn’t ready to start the season, it would give the opportunity for a deep player such as Trevor Williams, Tylor Megill or David Peterson to join the rotation.

Taijuan walker
Tom DiPace/New York Post

Walker, 29, went 7-11 with a 4.47 ERA in 30 appearances last season for the Mets. After a strong first half that earned him a spot in the All-Star Game, he has crumbled over the past 2½ months, kicking off a full season for the first time since 2017.

Robinson Cano, returning from a second PED suspension that kept him out for all of last season, spoke to his teammates in what could be described as a gesture of apology, according to Showalter. Last season, Francisco Lindor indicated that the veteran second baseman should probably apologize to his teammates upon his return.

“You could say [Cano] was a long time coming and it was really something that was on his heart,” Showalter said. “The guys were very receptive.

The Mets' Robinson Cano practices batting during day two of 2022 spring training at Clover Park.
Robinson Cano
Tom DiPace/New York Post

Starling Marte was ruled out of practice on Monday due to left oblique discomfort, according to Showalter. The veteran outfielder – who has a history of oblique injuries – underwent ‘imaging’ and x-rays which came back negative.

“We know that with this type of zone it puts a flag up front, but so far so good,” Showalter said, adding that Marte informed the Mets of the slant last week.

Seth Lugo, Yennsy Diaz and Felix Pena had still not shown up to camp on Monday. Lugo had travel issues due to the weather and Diaz and Pena faced visa issues, according to Showalter. Lugo is expected to arrive before Tuesday’s practices.

New York Post

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