- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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NEW YORK -- Injured Mets closer Bobby Parnell (herniated disc) said surgery is still a possibility after he had a follow-up exam on his neck on Tuesday. Parnell has still not been cleared to resume baseball activities.
"It's a possibility. I don't think it ever came off the table," Parnell said of surgery. "I don't know how big of a possibility it is right now."
He added: "I think there's a timeline where if I don't get to a certain point at a certain time, they'll push for it. Just a waiting game. Do therapy every day and get stronger."
Parnell said he if he were to have surgery, he should be ready for spring training next season. He said it would be about a four-to-five month process.
"Love to come back, pushing to come back. We'll see," Parnell said. "But my ultimate goal is to be ready for spring training so I can be here for the team next year."
The closer was placed the disabled list on Aug. 6, and said his strengthening exercises involve light band work, as well as working out his legs with squats, bike work and other exercises. The focus is to keep stress off his neck.
Parnell last pitched on July 30.
"Getting better every day. It's a slow process. Doctors are being hesitant with me. They don't know how I respond to baseball activities, so they're being cautious. Slow process but getting better."
Parnell said the next week should be telling, and he still wants to return this season. He has a doctor's appointment next week, although he's not sure of the date.
"I'm pushing to get back this season," Parnell said. "The doctors are hesitant, and rightfully so, it's a part of the body where they feel like if I push it too much or come back too quick there will be some serious damage. There is that fine balancing act. I'm pushing as hard as I can. But they have the reins."