Kodai Senga receives injection in right shoulder. What does it mean for Mets starter?

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A best-case scenario for Kodai Senga's return has been revealed.

Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said Senga returned to New York to receive a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right shoulder on Friday after an MRI on Wednesday revealed a moderate posterior capsule strain. It is recommended that Senga be shut down from throwing for at least three weeks.

With a three-week shutdown and the appropriate six weeks of spring training buildup, the optimal timeline in Senga's recovery would have him out until the very end of April.

"You have to wait, first of all, let the shot do the work, and then once he starts ramping up his throwing program, we'll have a better idea how is he bouncing back," Mendoza said. "For right now, we have to let it heal."

New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga (34) warms-up during workouts on Feb. 19, 2024, at spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga (34) warms-up during workouts on Feb. 19, 2024, at spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Mendoza added that it is hard to put a date or month on Senga's return in the early stages of his recovery. Senga was unsure whether he would be able to throw immediately after the three-week shutdown.

"It might be sooner, it might be later," Senga said through an interpreter. "We’ll have to see what it feels like then. We’ll be checking up on it periodically and we’ll see what happens."

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For Senga, the progression back to the mound will be approached prudently by the Mets coaching and training staffs.

"We've got to be careful, but we'll be flexible as well," Mendoza said. "Senga knows his body well. He knows he's going to be pretty honest, and these are the conversations that I'm having with him, making sure that he voices his opinion, because he knows himself better than anybody. We'll have to adjust as we get going with his throwing program."

Senga added: "The only thing I really have to say is (I’m) using this time to my benefit and working on things I need to work on and make sure I can get there as quick as possible, and once I am out there I can dominate and help the team win."

With Senga's injury, a competition has opened up to fill his spot in the rotation, with Tylor Megill, Joey Lucchesi, José Buttó and Max Kranick expected to be the chief options.

Megill pitched the spring opener on Saturday against the Cardinals, striking out three and allowing one earned run on two hits across two innings of work. Buttó was Sunday's starter against the Astros.

This article originally appeared on Kodai Senga injury: Timeline for Mets pitcher after shoulder injection