Former Mets Pitching Coach Explains Why Noah Syndergaard's Injury Comes At A Bad Time

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By WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM/66AM New York

Noah Syndergaard’s career is on hold for the foreseeable future.

Syndergaard has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, which means he will have to undergo Tommy John surgery. Thus, Syndergaard will miss the entire 2020 season, as well as a decent chunk of 2021.

On Wednesday, former Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson joined Marc Malusis and Maggie Gray on WFAN to talk about Syndergaard’s injury. Despite the uncertainty surrounding this season, Peterson still thinks this was a bad time for the pitcher to suffer this kind of injury.

“The timing is less than optimal, to get surgery at this time of the year,” said Peterson. “15 months turns into somewhere around June, July of next year. And after you’ve rehabbed that whole year, you’re really ready for a season off. You’re not ready to start pitching again.”

Tommy John surgery is every pitcher’s nightmare. It requires a lengthy period of rehabilitation, but it also then requires patience and further work for a pitcher to get back to where they were before suffering the injury.

Syndergaard can be a little encouraged by all the other Mets hurlers who have come back from the same surgery. Jacob deGrom has won two NL Cy Young Awards since he underwent his Tommy John surgery back during his time in the minor leagues.

The Mets' Noah Syndergaard reacts in between pitches against the Miami Marlins on Sept. 24, 2019, at Citi Field. Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

Peterson says the ideal time to have the surgery is closer to the middle of the year.

“So, the ideal (time) is to get the surgery somewhere around the middle of the year, and then that way you come back and rehab and your rehab is done around August or September … and then you have an offseason. Then you have a real offseason and then you get ready for the next season. That’s also another big dilemma here.”

Peterson also provided a word of caution about just how many pitchers are actually able to recover from this costly surgery.

“This surgery, coming back to normal is more like in that upper 60%-70%. This is not an 85%-95% recovery success rate.”

Click on the audio player above to listen to the full interview with Rick Peterson.