Port St. Lucie, FL (Sports Network) - New York Mets starting pitcher Steve Trachsel will undergo surgery on Saturday for a herniated disc in his back.
It is expected that Trachsel could be sidelined for up to six months, but an official determination of his recovery time will be made after the surgery is complete.
Trachsel, who has rarely missed action because of injury since joining the Mets in 2001, apparently hurt himself at some point of spring training. He left for New York on Sunday to get the injury examined. An MRI revealed the herniated disc.
"This is not what I expected when I left last week to go to New York for X- rays," said Trachsel in a release on the Mets' Web site. "I thought I would get a shot and be back. At least they know what the problem is. There is no doubt in my mind I'll be pitching again before the end of the season."
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. He was 0-1 with a 12.00 ERA in two starts this spring for the Mets.
Trachsel went 12-13 with a 4.00 ERA in 33 starts last year for New York.
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.