Port St. Lucie, FL (Sports Network) - New York Mets starting pitcher Steve Trachsel could be sidelined for up to six months due to a herniated disc in his back.
Trachsel, who has rarely missed action because of injury since joining the Mets in 2001, is expected to opt for surgery according to the club's Web site, meaning he would likely miss the 2005 season. If it turns out surgery is not necessary, three months of rehab is more likely. The righthander is currently in his hometown of San Diego deciding what he wants to do while awaiting other medical opinions.
Trachsel, 34, would have served as the Mets No. 4 pitcher this season. The injury leaves a void in New York's rotation that was bolstered in the offseason by the acquisition of Pedro Martinez.
The Mets now turn their attentions to Matt Ginter, Jae Seo and Aaron Heilman, all of whom will vie for the open rotation spot. Others who have a chance are Mexican League pitcher Francisco Campos and 20-year-old prospect Yusmiero Petit. Other reports indicate the Mets might turn outside the organization for help.