Just about everything that can go wrong has gone wrong for the New York Mets this year, as they've struggled their way to a disappointing 55-71 record while dealing with key injuries all over the roster.
However, one of the bright spots has been young outfielder Michael Conforto, who was hitting .279 with 27 home runs and 68 RBI entering Thursday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Unfortunately for the Mets, the injury bug struck again, and Conforto wasn't able to make it through the game unscathed.
Standing in the batter's box in the bottom of the fifth inning, Conforto took a massive cut at a Robbie Ray fastball, but, as you can see in the video below, immediately collapsed in pain and had to be helped off the field:
The initial X-rays revealed a dislocated shoulder and a follow-up MRI showed a tear in one of the muscles around the shoulder. The Mets haven't said how much time Conforto will miss, but surgery is being considered as an option at this point.
For a team that has dealt with its fair share of injuries to key players this season, Conforto's injury was especially brutal. Manager Terry Collins told ESPN.com that it's a shame to see a player who was playing so well suffer such a freak injury:
"It turns your stomach," Collins said after the game. "A player was having a tremendous year and really making a name for himself. To go down like that, and that kind of injury, is tough to watch."
Brandon Nimmo replaced Conforto in the lineup, but it remains to be seen who will serve as the talented outfielder's long-term replacement.
In a season where several veteran players have been traded away, rookie first baseman Dominic Smith said it hurts to see one of the team's budding leaders suffer such a painful injury:
"He's been the heart of this team all year," Smith said. "He's worked so hard, and for him to get hurt like that is definitely a blow to the team. It's a blow to our spirits and emotionally you feel for him."
Collins said he doesn't know yet if Conforto will be out for the year, but with only about a month left in the regular season, it might be best to give him some time to recover:
"I can't go out there and predict that," Collins said. "I'll just let the doctors tell us what's going on."
This season is basically over for the Mets, who only have pride to play for at this point, but with a roster that still has plenty of talent on it (just talent that's currently on the DL), it'll be important for the Mets to have a healthy Conforto heading into the 2018 season.
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