Mets’ James McCann ‘shoots for quicker’ return from injury

James McCann has already requested the use of Dominic Smith’s seldom used mitt on his good right hand.

McCann won’t be throwing with his left hand, but he plans to stay sharp in his crouch position while catching with his right hand as he works his way back from surgery to treat a broken left hamate bone that caught him by surprise on Friday. The Mets catcher is expected to undergo the procedure earlier this week, and while there’s an average six-week timeline for a return to the game, McCann wants to do everything in his power to return sooner.

“Obviously I’m shooting faster than that,” McCann said Saturday before the Mets hosted the Mariners at Citi Field.

McCann said he can do almost anything except swing a two-handed racquet, so he’ll continue to throw, lift and catch off a throwing machine with his right hand — at a slightly slower rate as he gets used to using his off to receive -hand – on the way back from the operation.

“Obviously I have to recover for a few days after the surgery, but the plan is to stay in baseball shape as much as possible,” McCann said.

James McCann
James McCann plans to stay in as much baseball shape as possible during his rehab.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

The details of exactly how the injury occurred are a little less clear.

McCann noted that broken hamate bones usually occur on a swing and clubs immediately lose strength in their hand. But his case was different.

The 31-year-old said he has struggled with general wrist pain for “several weeks” but usually only intermittently, either in the batting cage or during batting practice.

“But when the game started [with] the adrenaline was there, but it wasn’t prohibitively expensive,” McCann said. “When I first said something was on Tuesday when I could feel it when I caught. So I said it was something I needed to say. If I can feel it while catching a baseball, I have to say so.”

Nevertheless, he did not expect the end result. The Mets released him on Wednesday and Thursday, with Tomas Nido catching, but he didn’t improve as expected, leading to an X-ray on Friday that revealed the fractured bone.

“It certainly surprised me,” McCann said. “It’s definitely not what I expected. Especially the hamat, to this day I still pass the strength test. It’s something that we kind of wrote off as far as it was a thing.

“I don’t know when it happened. The doctor said I’ve been dealing with this for a while. It eventually got to the point where the pain tolerance, I just couldn’t take it anymore.”

McCann said the timing of the injury – or the pain that was enough to knock him out – was particularly frustrating given the way he’s been playing lately. His defense has been strong all season, but after starting the year at 4:32 (.125) in his first 12 games with .487 OPS, he has shown signs of improvement in his last nine games, going 7-1 – 24 (.292) with a .641 OPS.

“Especially after a short spring training session [when] I missed the time with my back [tightness]’ McCann said. “I finally got to a point where I was comfortable and things started to click. It’s just another setback. But that’s something I’ll deal with and we’ll get through it.”

McCann said he would have preferred to have the surgery as early as Friday so he could start his recovery watch as soon as possible, but expects it in the coming days. Mets’ James McCann ‘shoots for quicker’ return from injury


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