Mets right-hander Jeremy Hefner appears headed for a second Tommy John surgery

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Jeremy Hefner made 22 starts for the Mets last season prior to undergoing Tommy John surgery and now he has suffered a significant setback in his recovery.

Hefner, who had Tommy John surgery last August, felt soreness in his surgically-repaired right elbow during a minor league rehab start last Wednesday. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said after today’s game that Hefner reinjured the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and also suffered a stress fracture of his ulna bone. The expectation is that he will need another Tommy John surgery.

Here’s what Hefner wrote on his Facebook page:

“Although this injury is extremely uncommon, it does happen. There aren’t many case studies on it, but it does require me to have T.J. surgery again. Yes, that means starting completely over. I’m not sure what my course of action is. Should have a clearer picture in the coming days. I’m disappointed, but not shaken. I have a lot of things to be thankful for, and I’ll rest in that.”

Just devastating. Tommy John surgery continues to have a high success rate, but when it comes to throwing a baseball, nothing is a guarantee. Here’s the latest example.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.