Mets’ Taijuan Walker is still recovering from knee surgery

PORT ST. LUCIE — Taijuan Walker’s right knee could be the biggest threat to the Mets, opening the season with the starting rotation intact.

According to manager Buck Showalter, the right-hander underwent surgery on January 14 to remove damaged tissue in his knee and there is “a chance” he will be ready to start the season.

The team later issued a statement saying Walker had been cleared for baseball activities and was throwing a mound. He remains in an ongoing progression before being released for full-game activity.

If Walker isn’t ready to start the season, it would present an opportunity for a deep play like Trevor Williams, Tylor Megill or David Peterson to join the rotation.

Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker throws into the bullpen during day two of spring 2022 training at Clover Park.
Taijuan Walker
Tom DiPace/New York Post

Walker, 29, went 7-11 with a 4.47 ERA in 30 appearances for the Mets last season. After a strong first half that earned him an All-Star Game spot, he slumped sharply in the last 2 ½ months and threw up a full season for the first time since 2017.

Robinson Cano, who was returning from a second PED suspension that sidelined him all of last season, spoke to teammates in what appeared to be an apology gesture, according to Showalter. Last season, Francisco Lindor hinted that the veteran second baseman would likely need to apologize to his teammates upon his return.

“You could say it [Cano] had been waiting for this for a long time and it was really something that was on his heart,” Showalter said. “The guys were very open-minded.”

The Mets' Robinson Cano completes batting practice on the second day of spring 2022 training at Clover Park.
Robinson Cano
Tom DiPace/New York Post

Starling Marte has been sidelined from Monday’s practice with a left oblique condition, according to Showalter. The veteran outfielder – who has a history of oblique injuries – underwent an “imaging” exam and X-rays which came back negative.

“We know that this type of area gets a flag put up first, but so far so well,” Showalter said, adding that Marte briefed the Mets on the slant last week.

Seth Lugo, Yennsy Diaz and Felix Pena still hadn’t reported to camp as of Monday. Lugo had travel issues due to the weather, and Diaz and Pena struggled with visa issues, according to Showalter. Lugo is expected to arrive ahead of Tuesday’s training session. Mets’ Taijuan Walker is still recovering from knee surgery


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