NEW YORK -- Famous for playing his entire career without an ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, R.A. Dickey will now attempt to pitch with a damaged connective tissue in his foot.
An MRI exam taken Friday revealed a partial tear of the plantar fascia in Dickey's right foot, the result of a sudden movement in Thursday's game against the Cubs. Doctors have told Dickey that he can do no further structural damage to his foot, allowing the knuckleballer to proceed with his normal between-starts routine.
If all goes well during his bullpen session Sunday, Dickey will make his next scheduled start on Tuesday against the Pirates.
"I'd be surprised if I don't," he said.
Doctors explained to Dickey that the plantar fascia is a superficial connective tissue; even if he tears it completely, he should still be able to pitch with the injury. Unsure if he will undergo surgery to repair the tear after the season, Dickey is nonetheless confident he can pitch for the remainder of this year.
"I feel like if it's just a matter of managing the symptoms, that I'll be out there," said Dickey, who estimated that his foot felt 60 percent better on Friday than the previous day.
Falling to the ground in pain after making a sudden move toward first base in Thursday's game against the Cubs, Dickey initially feared that he would have to miss significant time. Though the Mets have made contingency plans in the event that Dickey cannot make his next start, they will wait until the knuckleballer throws his bullpen session before setting any such plans into motion.
For now, they are confident that Dickey can pitch.
"Worst-case scenario is we just move him back a few days," manager Terry Collins said.
Added Dickey: "Everybody's pretty optimistic about me not missing anything."
After long DL stint, Pagan back, batting sixth
NEW YORK -- Angel Pagan had been on the disabled list for more than two weeks when he flew to New York for a follow-up examination, seeking more information on what he and the Mets believed was a strained left oblique. It was not.
Follow-up tests revealed that Pagan had actually suffered a stress fracture in his ribs, sidelining him for another three weeks.
After receiving a cortisone shot to dull the pain last week, Pagan intensified his rehab and returned to the Mets on Friday evening, playing center field and batting sixth.
To make room for Pagan, the Mets optioned outfielder Fernando Martinez back to Triple-A Buffalo.
"I never thought it was going to take that long," Pagan said. "It was really frustrating. But I've put everything behind me."
Slumping with a .159 average and just one home run in 69 at-bats prior to his injury, Pagan must prove he can be dangerous at the plate again before manager Terry Collins will slide him back into the second spot in the lineup.
"This guy's been out for almost a month [actually five weeks]," Collins said. "I want him to feel a little bit more comfortable before I rammed him in there."
Wright, Davis could return by end of homestand
NEW YORK -- Though the Mets still have no concrete timetable for the returns of injured sluggers David Wright and Ike Davis, general manager Sandy Alderson said Friday that both players could be back as soon as the end of this 10-game homestand.
"I think that's feasible," Alderson said. "I'd say it's very possible."
Though Davis has made little progress in his rehabilitation from a sprained left ankle, Wright has begun a program of core exercises in an attempt to rehab a stress fracture in his lower back.
Addressing reporters Friday for the first time since Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon criticized him in an issue of The New Yorker, Wright said he has exchanged phone messages with Wilpon ,but has not spoken to him directly. For more than 10 minutes Friday, Wright brushed aside questions regarding Wilpon's comment that Wright is a "good player" but "not a superstar."
"My parents texted me and said that I was their superstar," Wright said laughing. "I'm pretty sure that I knew that already."
Mets call up Thayer, designate Misch
NEW YORK -- Needing pitching after emptying their bullpen during Thursday's game in Chicago, the Mets made a surprise roster move on Friday afternoon, selecting the contract of right-handed reliever Dale Thayer from Triple-A Buffalo and designating lefty Pat Misch for assignment.
Thayer, 30, posted a 2.05 ERA in 20 games for the Bisons, striking out 25 batters over 26 1/3 innings. He appeared in 12 games with the Rays over the past two seasons.
Manager Terry Collins' scouting report on Thayer contained, in his words, "all the things you like to hear." Thayer, meanwhile, became the ninth player to join the Mets after starting this season Buffalo.
"At least I know someone," Thayer said. "I can ask them some questions around here, and I'm not going to feel awkward asking them."