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Mets Notebook: Starling Marte hopes to return in 2023, but doesn’t rule out another groin surgery

Mets outfielder Starling Marte hopes to return this season, but he’s not ruling out another surgery if his injured groin doesn’t continue to improve.

The 34-year-old felt he made progress after spending last week doing physical therapy in Philadelphia and wants to avoid another operation after undergoing double groin surgery in November.

“Right now, we’ve completely avoided that,” Marte said Sunday. “If I hadn’t progressed the way that I was able to progress over the last week with this new guy in Philadelphia, that would have been an option. But since we got a second opinion and we were able to strengthen it and get good results, that’s something we’ve been able to avoid. The focus is just to continue to strengthen everything and avoid surgery.”

Marte last played Aug. 5 before going on the 10-day injured list with a right groin strain. He was back at Citi Field over the weekend and ran in the outfield before Sunday’s game against the Seattle Mariners.

He said returning to the Mets’ lineup during the season’s final month remains his goal, and he hopes the groin issue won’t linger into next season.

“It’s uncomfortable, but it’s also a little painful,” Marte said. “The main thing that we’ve been doing is doing these different workouts to try and relieve that pain.”

It’s been a challenging year for Marte, who is batting .248 with five home runs and 28 RBI after an All-Star campaign last year. Injuries, which also included migraine headaches, limited him to 86 games so far in 2023.

“Talking to him, you can tell he kind of feels good about the direction that some things are heading,” manager Buck Showalter said Sunday of Marte. “He’s got a good face with this right now. He didn’t have that two weeks ago.”

Marte is in the second season of a four-year, $78 million contract with the Mets. He admits the groin injury has bothered him during his down year but added, “I’m not here to make excuses.”

Showalter, meanwhile, didn’t want to focus on the possibility of the veteran requiring surgery.

“I’m not gonna get all down about that possibility,” Showalter said. “We think that what’s going on right now has the potential not to have that be the option. It’s not a good option. Let’s face it, everybody scars down differently. If you go in there to take care of that scarring, then there’s another scarring behind that.”


Mark Vientos was out of the Mets’ starting lineup Sunday after leaving the previous night’s game with a sore right foot, but he doesn’t believe the injury to be serious.

The 23-year-old third baseman said he has a soft-tissue issue affecting the inside of his arch, but added it didn’t require testing and that he plans to play through it.

“Just a lot of games. A lot of days in cleats,” Vientos said Sunday. “I feel like this is the grind of the season. … I’m just gonna grind through it.”

Vientos, who missed time last month with wrist tendonitis, said he first experienced the foot discomfort during a Triple-A rehab assignment and that it “flared up” Saturday while running the bases.

Showalter said the ailment stemmed from a shoe issue, among other factors, and that Vientos should be back in the lineup during the Mets’ next series in Washington.


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