- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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NEW YORK -- Injured Mets starter Jonathon Niese (shoulder) will undergo his next scheduled MRI on his partially-torn left rotator cuff on Thursday. The Mets diagnosed the injury on June 21, and Niese is resting and performing physical therapy for two weeks before the follow-up MRI on July 4.
"I feel strong," Niese said on Saturday. "I'm sure it will come out better."
New York Mets
Niese left his June 20 start against Atlanta in the fourth inning after feeling pain his pitching shoulder. He underwent an MRI the following day, as well as being examined by team doctor David Altchek, and was placed on the disabled list. The Mets are optimistic that Niese will not need surgery.
The southpaw said he's been told by other pitchers that endured the injury to take his time with the rehab, shutting it down for two or three weeks, and when he starts throwing, to take potentially another two to three weeks before returning. Niese is 3-6 with a 4.32 ERA this year.
"It feels a lot better, a lot stronger," Niese said. "I've been doing a lot of rehab on it and getting a lot better. We'll see how it goes Thursday."
GEE TO THE DL? Saturday's starter, Dillon Gee, is going on two extra days of rest as the team tries to help him battle the tendinitis in his elbow. Manager Terry Collins acknowledged the possibility of Gee going on the disabled list if the tendinitis does not calm down.
"Very possible," Collins said. "I can't say that's going to happen, but no reason to think if it continues to flare up that it wouldn't happen."
As Gee battles the tendinitis, the Mets are keeping a close eye on him. While he had a rough start in his last time out against Philadelphia, he had given up just five runs in his previous four starts combined.
"We keep track of it pretty good. Especially if he has a long inning," Collins said. "If he's out there and really has to work or if he sits in the dugout, I really keep an eye on him when he warms up the next inning. But I know Dan [Warthen's] on top of it each and every inning to see how he's feeling."
WHEELER WORK: As Zack Wheeler aims to eliminate the tipping of pitches that the Mets believe contributed to his shaky start in his last outing, Collins said the youngster doesn't have that much work to do.
Wheeler gave up four runs in a 5 1/3 innings against the White Sox on June 25.
"If he needs that much work, he shouldn't be here," Collins said.
Collins said one of the main areas of focus with Wheeler is working on a consistent delivery.
"So if there is any, perhaps, evidence of tipping his pitches, that can be taken aside by making sure that there's no difference in where his arm angle is," Collins said.
IKE: Collins said when the Mets bring back Ike Davis, it will not be as a platoon player. Davis currently is playing for Triple-A Las Vegas.