Jon Niese fine now, surgery later

Updated: June 5, 2012, 5:19 PM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Jon Niese came away from an examination with team doctors Monday satisfied he had no significant heart issue, but the New York Mets left-hander expects to undergo a minor surgical procedure to correct a heartbeat that occasionally becomes irregular.

Niese was pulled from Sunday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals after tossing six scoreless innings as a precaution because he experienced a rapid heartbeat during the game. He also was forced from a June 25, 2011 game at Texas, with comparable symptoms.

Niese indicated he likely will have a minor surgical procedure during the July 9-12 All-Star break, though the Mets said Niese's procedure is more likely to occur during the offseason than the All-Star break.

"But I wouldn't miss any starts," Niese said. "It's an 'ablation,' they call it. They go inside the heart and they crimp something of some sort -- like the cause of it. It's like an outpatient thing that they do that it only takes like three days to recover from after that. So that's why I think we might be doing it All-Star break. That way I don't miss any starts."

Niese then displayed for reporters a brochure explaining the surgical procedure, which he had in his Citi Field locker after returning from the medical examination.

"Down the road I'll probably get something done to stop it all," Niese said. "But for right now it's nothing serious."

Niese wore a Holter monitor for 24 hours after the 2011 episode, and an echocardiogram and an EKG were performed at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit -- the Mets' next stop on that road trip. Doctors did not detect anything alarming at the time, Niese said, and the issue largely was dropped.

Niese said he underwent comparable tests Monday that also found nothing alarming. This time he will not be required to wear the Holter monitor, he added.

Niese's next start will come on a full week's rest, Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

Manager Terry Collins described the extra rest as related to Johan Santana's altered schedule and not as a result of Niese's issue.

Santana, coming off a career-high 134 pitches in a no-hitter against St. Louis, will be delayed two days from his regular turn and start Friday in the Bronx. Because Santana and Niese both throw left-handed, Collins wanted to slot right-hander Dillon Gee between them Saturday, prompting extra rest for Niese.

Also Monday, right-handed reliever Jon Rauch was getting a postgame exam with team doctors. Rauch has been experiencing elbow tenderness, Collins said. Rauch served up the game-deciding two-run homer to Allen Craig in the eighth inning of the Mets' 5-4 loss Monday.

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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