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Mets' Senga has 'regretful feelings' over not being able to help team

Kodai Senga New York Mets Kodai Senga - The Canadian Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Injured New York Mets pitcher Kodai Senga is upset he hasn't been able to help his team this season.

"It’s obviously not ideal, a lot of regretful feelings," he said through a translator on Monday before New York's series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers was rained out. “I just want to get back out there. I’m here at the stadium. I see all the guys fighting, and it really makes me want to have the urge to go back out there and pitch for the team."

Senga joined the Mets ahead of the 2023 season for a $75 million, five-year contract and became an All-Star in his first season. He went 12-7 with a 2.98 ERA in 29 starts and finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting.

“It’s hard to put a timetable here,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. “We got a pretty frustrated player here that he’s not able to contribute to the team.”

Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns said Feb. 15 that an MRI revealed a capsule strain in the pitching shoulder of the 31-year-old right-hander, a scan performed after Senga twice expressed having shoulder fatigue following throwing sessions.

Senga pitched batting practice once in late April and again in early May. He said he needed to work on his mechanics and reported triceps tightness during the road trip that ended last week. Another MRI on Friday showed nerve inflammation in Senga’s right elbow.

“When your muscles are not moving the way they’re supposed to, then a lot of different things could get inflamed and it happened to be the nerve this time,” Senga said.

He received a cortisone shot on Friday and likely will resume throwing on Wednesday.

Senga sounded dispirited over his rehab.

“I think that I understand my body well and I think things could have gotten better," he said. "I’m not overly surprised of where I am. I think I could have fixed some things.”

He was concerned about the progression of his return.

“In order to get back to 100%, you have to hit each benchmark," he said. “It’s not one specific thing that caused everything. But just moving forward, I think I have to look forward and bang out each thing that I need to do in order to move on to the next step and ultimately get back to on the mound.”

New York waited an extra two weeks before Senga resumed throwing.

“We laid out a plan when he first went down in spring training," the manager said. “Everybody was on board. We listened to some of his suggestions.”