Jonathon Niese has rotator cuff tear

Updated: June 21, 2013, 5:46 PM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

PHILADELPHIA -- New York Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese has been diagnosed with a partially torn rotator cuff, although surgery is not immediately recommended, assistant general manager John Ricco said.

The diagnosis came after Niese was examined by team doctor David Altchek on Friday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.

Niese had left a start Thursday in Atlanta in the fourth inning after experiencing pain in his pitching shoulder and a drop in velocity while facing Tyler Pastornicky.

The southpaw landed on the disabled list Friday.

The Mets called up submariner Greg Burke to take Niese's roster spot.

Ricco said Niese will rest and undergo physical therapy for the next two weeks, after which he will have another MRI and revisit Altchek.

"Hopefully it will start healing itself and he won't need surgery," Ricco said. "But we'll know more after a couple of weeks of rest. According to the doctors, it's a small enough tear that with rest ... they're hopeful it won't need surgery. It's not 'full thickness' or a significant tear at this point."

Niese had been battling what the team labeled as shoulder tendinitis for several weeks, even missing a start while avoiding the disabled list. But Ricco said the partial rotator cuff tear is a new injury that did not appear on an MRI at that time.

The injury unintentionally resolves the Mets' rotation surplus. New York had temporarily adopted a six-man rotation when top prospect Zack Wheeler made his major league debut Tuesday.

Manager Terry Collins said the Mets will return to a five-man rotation highlighted by Matt Harvey and Wheeler along with Dillon Gee, Jeremy Hefner and Shaun Marcum.

"You guys got your wish," Collins dryly told the media, which had been speculating about who might get bounced from the rotation. "There's only five of them left."

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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