New York Mets: Why Syndergaard’s Tommy John surgery doesn’t violate coronavirus rules

New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard

New York Mets‘ starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard will undergo the dreaded Tommy John surgery tomorrow in Florida. Yesterday, it was announced by the team that the hurler is dealing with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right (pitching) elbow. The procedure will keep him sidelined for the whole 2020 season, if it is ever played, and part of the 2021 one.

The news of the surgery has caused controversy, given that because of the coronavirus outbreak, states are canceling non-essential surgeries. Some may view elbow reconstruction as such.

New York is banning non-essential surgeries, and Florida, the state in which the procedure will be performed, is taking a similar approach. So, legally, where do Thor and the New York Mets stand?

The Mets are safe

The Mets’ are not violating any rules according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. He explains that per an industry source, the pitcher and team were told Thor “has an acutely torn UCL with acute compression of the ulnar nerve. Syndergaard and the team were told, according to the source, the condition fits the essential surgery guidelines.”

Puma goes on to write that on its website, “HSS Florida says it offers outpatient orthopedic care — including diagnostic services — ambulatory surgery, rehabilitation and sports performance programs.”

The usual rehab time for Tommy John surgery is between 14 and 18 months. That means the Mets’ pitcher, who was having a very good spring training and was truly in the shape of his life, won’t see the field until at least June 2021. It’s also possible that his absence extends after the All-Star break next year.

Thor is slated to be a free agent after the 2021 season. He was looking to rebound in 2020 prior to receiving the news of his elbow injury, as he had an uncharacteristically high 4.28 ERA last season.