By: Michael Ganci

Noah Syndergaard Could Miss Remainder of Season, Surgeon Says

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New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard reportedly has a partial tear of the latissimus dorsi muscle in his right throwing shoulder, an injury that could possibly force him to miss the remainder of the season, according to Randy Cohn, MD.

Dr. Cohn, a sports medicine and shoulder trained orthopaedic surgeon at Northwell Health, said that Mr. Syndergaard can be expected to miss at least three months and potentially all of 2017, citing a 2011 study of the injury in major league pitchers and published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

“Lat injuries are pretty rare in pitchers,” said Dr. Cohn. “The largest study looking at this is 16 high-level pitchers. Nine of those 16 pitchers missed the remainder of the season. So based on that, there’s a greater than 50 percent chance that Syndergaard’s not coming back this year.

“Of ones that did return, the average time to throwing off of flat ground was 35 days; average time to throwing off of a mound was 61 days; and average time of return to pitching was 82 days. So the average scenario here – average – is that Syndergaard is out three months.”

Almost always, latissimus dorsi injuries are treated without surgery, Dr. Cohn said. Mr. Syndergaard will likely follow a regimen of rest followed by a stretching program and then a graduated throwing program.

Dr. Cohn has experience working with major leaguers; he took care of Boston Red Sox players during his fellowship at Harvard Medical School at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Cohn also served as the associate head orthopaedist for the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League and works with several New York high schools.

“The latissimus dorsi muscle is a powerful abductor, an internal rotator of the arm,” Dr. Cohn said. “During the pitching cycle, it has its major function during the late cocking and early acceleration phases, which if you watched the actual pitch when Noah first grimaced and broke his rotation – broke the throw – was at that point of maximal external rotation. That’s when the latissimus dorsi is firing.”

About Michael Ganci

Michael Ganci is the Co-Founder of the Daily Stache, along with Matthew Falkenbury. Since 2008, Ganci has eat, drank and dreamt all things Mets, and he'd have it no other way. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @DailyStache.

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