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Zack Wheeler has been injecting bone growth drug into stomach

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Mets starter Zack Wheeler has been injecting a bone growth drug into his stomach daily for the last six months in an attempt to prevent injury, Kevin Kernan of the New York Post reports. The drug is called Forteo and helps to form new bone, increase bone mineral density, and increase bone strength.

Wheeler said, “You do a shot in your stomach every day for six months. It’s not fun, but you got to do it. They give it to people with brittle bones, osteoporosis. My arm feels great. I’ve been on the mound six times now so if this helps me get to 30 starts, I’m all for it.”

Wheeler, 27, missed the entire 2015 and ’16 seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He struggled over 17 starts last year before his season ended on July 22 due to a stress reaction in his right arm. Wheeler debuted in 2013 but has made only 66 starts in his major league career due to injury, so it’s understandable why he’s going to great lengths to try to stay healthy.

“I’m just kind of tired of getting labeled as unreliable, as ‘He’s always hurt.’ I missed two seasons but that was because of one injury. I can’t help that. I worked my butt off in rehab, was doing great and then this bone issue,” Wheeler said.

Phillies pause Jerad Eickhoff’s rehab

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Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season as he suffered a lat injury in mid-March and has been on the disabled list since. He started a rehab stint in the minors last week, making a start for Double-A Reading on May 15 and another start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday.

Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports that Eickhoff went a twinge in the fingertips of his right index and middle fingers late in Sunday’s outing after throwing a curve and on the subsequent pitch. The Phillies have paused Eickhoff’s rehab as a result and will evaluate him further.

Eickhoff went on the disabled list in late August last year due to nerve irritation in his right hand, so this latest setback could be related to that.

Eickhoff showed promise early in his career, posting a combined 3.44 ERA in 41 starts between 2015-16. He struggled to a 4.71 ERA last year before ending his season early with the nerve issue. Eickhoff was one of the many prospects the Phillies got from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade.