NEW YORK — Starling Martin’s hopes of an early return to the field have faded over the past two weeks after receiving a second opinion on a strained right hip.
The Dominican, who recently said he could play again this season, wasn’t so sure when asked Friday. At the very least, he’s hinted that he’s nowhere near coming back.
“We don’t know yet,” Marte said when asked if he would play in September. “Maybe or maybe not…too early to tell.”
Earlier in the week, Marte received a second injection in the right side of his groin, troubling him from the disabled list in early August. Unlike the first injection given to Mars two weeks ago, this injection was given in a specific area.
Generally, Mars is not completely healthy during this season. The veteran outfielder had surgery on both sides of his pelvis last winter, holding him back in spring training, and has said on multiple occasions that he has ongoing hip pain.
Asked if more surgeries would be needed this winter, Marte replied: “It’s complicated. That’s going to be a conversation with the physical trainers. I’m sure they’re talking about it. They’re talking about it. They probably know more than I do.”
Regardless of what happens with Mart over the next two months, the Mets have an incentive to find a permanent solution, and the Dominican, who has two more years and $41.5 million left on his contract, is expected to be the club’s starter until he’s done. 2025 season — as long as he stays healthy. Last year, he earned MVP votes for the season after posting an .815 OPS with 16 home runs in 118 games.
This year, Marte has played in 86 games with a .625 OPS with five home runs.