Mets RHP Syndergaard pulled from rehab start with sore elbow

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NEW YORK (AP) — Noah Syndergaard was pulled from his minor league rehabilitation outing because of soreness in his pitching elbow Tuesday night, the latest setback for a New York Mets team ravaged by injuries.

The hard-throwing right-hander is coming back from Tommy John surgery on March 26 last year. He threw four shutout innings with five strikeouts last Wednesday for Class A St. Lucie but lasted only one inning in his second start with the team.

The Mets said Syndergaard was removed as a precaution. He had been on track for a mid-June return, but suddenly that appears uncertain at best.

The 28-year-old Syndergaard, an All-Star in 2016, is 47-30 with a 3.31 ERA in five major league seasons. He can become a free agent in the fall.

New York has 16 players on the injured list, most in the majors, and is missing three of its top five starting pitchers in Syndergaard, Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker.

Mets ace Jacob deGrom returned Tuesday from the IL and started against the Colorado Rockies. The two-time Cy Young Award winner had been sidelined since May 9 by tightness in his right side. He struck out eight and walked none in three hitless innings during a rehab outing for St. Lucie in the Low-A Southeast League last Thursday.

“To get Jake today I know is huge for everyone,” manager Luis Rojas said before the game. “Definitely uplifting.”

Carrasco, out with a strained right hamstring, isn't expected back until late June or early July.

Walker has been out since May 18 due to tightness in his right side. He threw live batting practice to two hitters Tuesday and Rojas said it was “very encouraging.”

Rojas said Walker didn't feel anything similar to when he went on the 10-day IL. He is scheduled to play catch Wednesday and throw a “touch and feel” on Thursday.

Rojas said he doesn't expect Walker to need a rehab start before returning to the rotation.

Despite all the injuries, the Mets began the day 21-20 and in first place in the tightly contested NL East. New York had lost three straight and seven of 10, however.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Mike Fitzpatrick, The Associated Press

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