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Mets' Diaz likely out for season after tearing patellar tendon at WBC

Eric Espada / Getty Images Sport / Getty

New York Mets All-Star closer Edwin Diaz will undergo surgery for a torn patellar tendon suffered during a celebration at the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday, the team announced.

General manager Billy Eppler told reporters that the general timeline for such an injury is eight months, making it likely that Diaz misses the upcoming MLB season.

Despite the setback, Eppler said that Diaz is still keeping a positive outlook.

"To nobody's surprise, he's in great spirits," Eppler said, according to Deesha Thosar of Fox Sports. "Last night when he talked to me, he was like, 'Don't worry. This is going to be fine.'"

The Mets signed Diaz to a five-year, $102-million contract extension in November. The 28-year-old authored a tremendous season in 2022, posting 32 saves with a staggering 17.13 K/9 and a 1.31 ERA over 61 appearances.

Mets owner Steve Cohen admitted he was still digesting the gravity of the news but chalked it up to bad luck.

"It's such a freak accident. Just so unlucky," Cohen told Thosar. "He's such a good guy. It's just terrible. He just wants to win a World Series; that's what he expresses to me. We're all just kind of taking it all in right now."

New Mets right-hander Justin Verlander is hoping the team can achieve its goal of winning a World Series so Diaz can join them in a celebration at the end of the season.

"Hopefully, at the end of the year, we can be standing there victorious, and Edwin can be up there with us, and we can all celebrate together. That's the obvious goal," Verlander said, according to Newsday's Tim Healey.

In the wake of Diaz's injury, there has been plenty of chatter surrounding the injury risk players take to compete in the World Baseball Classic.

"In general, we are not given too many opportunities to stand in the way when a player goes," Eppler said, according to Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post. "There are certain criteria that has to be met for a player to not go."

The Mets prevented outfielder Starling Marte from participating in the tournament after he underwent abdominal surgery earlier in the offseason.

"When we're given that runway, we've taken it. We took it with Marte," Eppler said, per Janes. "We filed the objection on Marte because we could. But I don't want to get into the specifics here."

The Mets could turn to offseason acquisition David Robertson as the closer in the wake of Diaz's injury. Robertson has 157 career saves and picked up 20 last season with the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies.

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