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Mets' Diaz not ruling out 2023 return: 'I feel great'

Adam Hunger / Getty Images Sport / Getty

New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz is feeling optimistic about his chances of returning before the end of the 2023 season after suffering a torn patellar tendon during the World Baseball Classic in March.

"If everything keeps going how it's going, we've got a chance to pitch," Diaz said, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. "The trainers and doctors will decide, but I feel great. Let's see what's coming for us."

The original prognosis for Diaz's injury deemed it season-ending, with Mets general manager Billy Eppler acknowledging that most athletes returning from a torn patellar tendon take eight months to recover - which would take Diaz into November. However, Eppler also noted that some athletes take six months to return - which would mark September for the Mets closer - but added that those are outliers.

Diaz, 29, was sensational last year, earning his first Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year award (he had also previously won the American League version, named after Mariano Rivera). The two-time All-Star authored a 1.31 ERA and 0.90 FIP, notching 32 saves for the Mets in 61 appearances and striking out 118 batters over 62 innings.

That performance helped earn him a lucrative extension from the Mets, agreeing to a five-year, $102-million contract to keep him in Queens last November.

Without Diaz, the Mets are 29-27 so far this season, tied for second place in the NL East and four games back of the Atlanta Braves. The team's bullpen ranks 28th in MLB, according to FanGraphs' WAR, with David Robertson getting the bulk of the ninth-inning opportunities and leading the team with 10 saves.

Mets' Diaz not ruling out 2023 return: 'I feel great'
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