With the clock inching toward midnight Friday night, Yoenis Cespedes dropped a double-scary health bombshell.
The often-injured Cespedes said he needs to have surgery on both heels and he is not sure he can make it through the season. Not one heel. Both heels.
At this point in a lost season, why bother?
Even for the Mets, this breaks new ground for injury issues.
Cespedes should get the surgery as soon as possible and begin the lengthy rehab process, because the Mets slugger, who homered in his first game back in the 7-5 win at Yankee Stadium on Friday night, faces an 8-to-10-month rehab process and will continue to be damaged goods if he tries to play on two bad heels.
That four-year, $110 million contract is looking worse by the day.
After all that yoga, stretching and running, Cespedes is in dire shape at the age of 32.
“I realize what is causing my problems are my heels,’’ Cespedes said through a translator. “When I feel some pain on my heels, I started to modify my walking, my running, even my standing. That’s the main cause I am having [of] these problems in my leg.
“The only way that I can avoid my heels from keep bothering me or getting me hurt is having the surgery.
“I’m still thinking about [having the surgery] because the recovery process takes 8-to-10 months.’’
Then he has to work himself back into game shape.
There you go. So if he doesn’t have the surgery now, 2019 is a washout as well. His contract runs through 2020.
Cespedes has played in only 38 games this season and last played in mid-May.
The problem is calcification in his heels, he said, and he would have to have the calcification removed. Both surgeries would take place at once.
“I’ve been playing like this for the last 15 years, but as time goes by it is getting worse and worse,’’ Cespedes said.
Asked if he could make it through this season, a somber Cespedes said, “I don’t know.’’
To recap, the Mets’ best player who has been dogged by hip and leg injuries now needs double heel surgery. The Mets’ season of horror gets worse each day even with a Subway Series victory. Even with a home run off the left-field foul pole by Cespedes in the third inning off Domingo German.
Mets assistant general manager John Ricco in a meeting with reporters before the game never mentioned the issue, even though he was asked about Cespedes. Cespedes declined to talk to the media before the game and mentioned the heel problem only when asked specifically about his injuries.
Earlier in the interview he was bemoaning the fact that “people on social media’’ do not understand how hard he is working.
It wasn’t too long ago Cespedes was showing off his extreme workout of doing 900-pound squats for ESPN. Now he is moving gingerly on the base paths. When he grounded out in the eighth inning he ran slowly to first and ever so slowly walked back to the dugout, appearing to be in pain.
Now we know why. Mickey Callaway made a passing reference to Cespedes’ hip, leg and “heel’’ issues before the game.
In games that Cespedes has appeared, the Mets are 20-18 this season. Minus Cespedes the Mets are 20-37. In 2017 he appeared in only half the games, 81.
They can’t possibly expect him to play left field in this condition.
A player makes the final call on having surgery. That is where Cespedes is at right now.
There is no denying what Cespedes means to the lineup. Jacob deGrom said it best before the game, noting that with “one swing he can change the game.’’
The Mets were leading 3-0 against German after a three-run first inning, but it was Cespedes’ home run that gave the Mets an emotional lift. It was Cespedes’ ninth home run of the season.
Cespedes can hit. He can’t stay in the lineup.
Certainly not with two bad heels that need surgery that will keep him sidelined for nearly a year.
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