Edwin Diaz is having surgery Thursday after tearing the patellar tendon in his right knee — an injury suffered during a scary and almost unfathomable scene for the Mets and their fans, all while celebrating Puerto Rico’s win over the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday night.
GM Billy Epplerwho shared the news with reporters Thursday afternoon, said a general timeline for Diaz’s return to game action will be eight months, while noting that some players return sooner.
“There are instances where athletes come back earlier, around the six-month mark, but those are a little bit more of the exception than the rule,” Eppler explained.
SNY’s Andy Martino reported earlier on Thursday that the Mets were fearing the worst regarding Diaz, bracing for the possibility that he would miss most or all of the season.
He suffered the injury — a full thickness tear — while jumping up and down with teammates after recording the final out of the game, which sent Puerto Rico to the quarterfinals and knocked out the Dominican Republic.
The jubilation quickly turned to shock and sadness, as Diaz sat on the field before initially attempting to walk off. After being unable to put much weight on his right leg, he was carried part of the way off the field before being taken to the clubhouse in a wheelchair.
Diaz’s brother, Alexis, and other members of team Puerto Rico were in tears on the field while watching things unfold.
Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor crouched behind the mound with a shocked look in his eyes.
Diaz, the best closer in baseball who possesses one of the nastiest fastball-slider combinations ever, is impossible to replace — especially on a team like the Mets with World Series aspirations.
But New York will now have to go about attempting to fill a gaping hole in its bullpen — and clubhouse.
The 28-year-old Diaz, who has endeared himself to Mets fans with his dominance, personality, and electric entrance to Timmy Trumpet’s song, “Narco,” signed a five-year, $102 million deal shortly after free agency began this past offseason .