The Mets are crumbling, and the lat tear Noah Syndergaard suffered in late April has only added to fans’ misery. Syndergaard is currently on the 60-day DL, and there’s no definitive timetable for his return, but we thought we’d check in with him. Syndergaard joined Michael Baumann and Ben Lindbergh on The Ringer MLB Show to discuss his rehab and the Mets in general.
A lat muscle tear isn’t the worst injury for a pitcher — it’s not a torn ligament in the elbow that requires Tommy John surgery — but the rehabilitation process is a bit complex.
"Rehab’s going really well," Syndergaard explained. "Kind of going a little slow right now, but it’s all about having patience and knowing the lat is a little tricky muscle to rehab. There’s really no cookbook recipe for it, it’s all about how you’re healing. Right now I’ve got no pain, I’ve just got to continue to work on my flexibility and my strength to make sure that this doesn’t happen again."
Syndergaard’s arm isn’t in a sling and there’s no cast for a lat injury, so his day-to-day life isn’t affected much, even if he can’t throw a ball.
"Well the actual tear itself happened almost in my armpit area. [Everyday life] is normal now," he said. "I can finally take a shower with no pain, so that’s good. I’m still able to work out and train my legs and my core and work on my flexibility as much as possible. But staying away from all the upper body stuff. I can’t throw. It’s going to be a while before I can pick up a ball and get ready to throw again."
Syndergaard experienced "biceps discomfort" in the days before he suffered the lat tear, but wouldn’t change how he handled the situation.
"I have no regrets with how things went," he said. "I was able to go out that Sunday and pitch with no pain. It’s just something happened that day, and my lat couldn’t withstand it and finally gave out. … The two were unrelated."
For now, Syndergaard is channeling his energy into something so many athletes pursue when they’re injured: supporting their teammates.
"One guy I can mention off the top of my head who’s been through it all and deserves a parade in his honor is David Wright," Syndergaard said. "He’s always in the clubhouse, every day, and it must be really hard for him. He’s been going through some stuff and he wants to be out there as bad as possible. He’s always in the clubhouse and that’s something that I want to emulate — I’m always in the clubhouse when the team’s at home and whenever the team’s away I’m glued to my TV."
Listen to the full podcast here. This transcript has been edited and condensed.