Mets: Ike Davis likely has valley fever

Updated: March 4, 2012, 12:56 AM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The New York Mets minimized first baseman Ike Davis' early camp visit to New York for additional medical tests as revealing nothing more than a harmless lung infection. Apparently, there is more to the story.

The team is concerned Davis has contracted valley fever. Davis took a physical when he arrived at spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and the exam showed an abnormal chest X-ray. He was sent to New York for further tests and when he returned to camp, the Mets said Davis had a simple lung infection.

"Following additional tests here and in NYC, pulmonary and infectious disease specialists have concluded that Ike likely has Valley Fever, which is expected to resolve itself over time," the Mets said in the statement. "Ike is not contagious, is not taking any medication for his condition and does not currently exhibit any of the outward symptoms associated with Valley Fever. However, Ike has been instructed to avoid extreme fatigue. No additional tests or examinations are pending, but Ike will have a follow up exam when the team returns to NYC in early April."

Davis, who had two hits in an intrasquad game Saturday, told ESPNNewYork.com via text: "Because I haven't got the blood work back I can't be sure it's true."

Valley fever is a fungal infection found in desert regions of the Southwest. The fungus is released from the soil and inhaled. Davis spends his offseasons in Phoenix.

The disease is treated with rest and drugs.

"We're treating him as if that's what it is. We can't let him run down," Mets manager Terry Collins told the team's website. "That's what we've been told. We'll give him some days off. He says he can go, and he's been doing everything he's supposed to. But we need to be sure he doesn't push it."

Valley fever can be a serious problem. Conor Jackson was limited to 30 games with the Arizona Diamondbacks while dealing with valley fever in 2009. While recovering, Jackson described Valley fever as "mono on steroids" to the Arizona Republic.

"I'm tired. I'm fatigued," Jackson told the newspaper. "Some days I feel like I'm able to do stuff, and I do stuff. I sleep 12, 13 hours and I'm exhausted."

Greg Kraft had his promising golf career sidetracked after he contracted the disease during the 2002 Tucson Open.

Davis was sidelined for the remainder of the season last year after suffering a left ankle injury in a May 10 collision on a popup with David Wright in Colorado. Davis has shown no effects of the injury this spring.

Davis batted .302 with seven homers and 25 RBIs in 36 games last season after hitting .264 with 19 home runs and 71 RBIs in 2010.

The loss of Davis for any length of time would be a serious blow to the Mets after All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes signed as a free agent with the Miami Marlins this winter. New York has slashed its payroll after going 77-85 last season.

Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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