Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes

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Yoenis Cespedes To Undergo Season-Ending Surgeries On Heels

July 25, 2018 - 10:34 am
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By WFAN.com

Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes will miss the rest of this season and very possibly a chunk of next season, too, as he prepares to undergo surgery on both of his heels, which have ailed him for years. 

At a Citi Field news conference Wednesday, Mets assistant general manager John Ricco announced that a second opinion from a doctor confirmed that Cespedes needs surgery to remove the calcification in both heels around the Achilles tendons.

It will be two separate surgeries -- one on each foot, two to three months apart, Ricco said. The first procedure has not yet been scheduled.

Ricco said the exact timeframe for recovery won't be clear until doctors perform the surgeries and can determine the extent of the calcification, but he said early estimates are that Cespedes will be out eight to 10 months.

"It's possible it could be longer than that. It probably won't be shorter than that," Ricco said.

If he made it back in eight months -- the best-case scenario -- Cespedes would be cleared for baseball activities just prior to Opening Day next season. 

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"The concern on our end was not only the pain he was in, but also the fact that it was contributing to him altering his running style and therefore leading to some of these other leg issues," Ricco said. "And you get to the point where that doesn't make any sense because you're just going to keep in that cycle. So we had him checked out by the doctors, and they agreed that we've exhausted the conservative options, and now surgery is really the only way to resolve this issue."

Cespedes had just returned to the lineup Friday after missing more than two months with a strained right hip flexor. He also has battled hamstring and quad injuries in recent years. He has played in just 119 games the past two seasons.

Through his interpreter, Cespedes said he's been dealing with the condition since before he defected from Cuba in 2012.

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"I know that the calcification, as time goes by, it keeps growing and growing, and I've been playing like that," he said. "But there was a moment when we played the Yankees on last weekend that I couldn't do it anymore."

In 38 games this season, Cespedes is hitting .262 with nine home runs and 29 RBIs.

Knowing Cespedes likely won't be available at the start of next season, Ricco said he and special assistants to the general manager JP Ricciardi and Omar Minaya -- the three executives filling in during GM Sandy Alderson's medical leave -- will "regroup with this information and decide whether there needs to be a change in strategy."

Ricco said the Mets will be able to recover a portion of Cespedes' $29 million annual salary through an insurance policy.