New York Mets star Edwin Díaz tore his patellar tendon in his right knee while celebrating Puerto Rico’s win over the Dominican Republic Wednesday night.
The 28-year-old pitcher is expected to miss the entire season and will need to undergo surgery. Mets general manager Billy Eppler said the general timeline for recovery from this kind of injury is around eight months.
“There are instances where athletes have come back earlier, more around the six-month mark,” Eppler told reporters. “But those are a little more of the exception than the rule.”
The patellar tendon attaches the bottom of the kneecap to the top of the shinbone and takes a lot of force to tear, but a person can injure it by jumping or falling.
Eppler said that Díaz’s injury happens more often in other sports. “It’s an injury that’s actually really common in the NBA and NFL,” he said. “When you get excessive load put on your knee, it can happen.”
Díaz’s injury occurred while the team jumped up and down and hugged following their 5-2 victory at Loan Depot Park in Miami, Florida. A video showed him limping toward the dugout as he struggled to put weight on his right leg. He eventually used his left leg to hop into a wheelchair.
Mets owner Steve Cohen tweeted, ”All of us at the Mets are shaken but determined to sustain our quest for a great season. We wish Edwin a speedy recovery.”
After producing an incredible 2022 season, the Mets signed Díaz to a five-year $102 million contract, the largest ever for a closer, according to ESPN.
Díaz went 3-1 with a 1.31 ERA, and 32 saves in 35 opportunities while striking out 118 batters in 62 innings last season. He made his second All-Star appearance and earned votes for both Cy Young and MVP in the National League.
Losing Díaz will be a major blow to the Mets, but they have relievers on their roster with closer experience. Adam Ottavino and David Robertson will likely be the top candidates to handle closing duties for the Mets heading into the start of the season.