Mets star closer Edwin Diaz says he hopes to return this season

John LeeESPN3 minutes to read

Edwin Diaz hopes to return in 2023

Mets up close Edwin Diaz discusses rehabilitating his knee, and whether he can return this season.

New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz has not ruled out returning before the end of the season, saying his injured knee is progressing well.

Diaz, who was speaking to the media for the first time since he tore his right patellar tendon while celebrating at the World Baseball Classic, said Wednesday that his knee is “working properly” and that his recovery is going “in a good direction.”

While the usual timeline for recovering from his injury is eight months, Diaz offered a more optimistic prognosis.

“I might throw this season,” he said. “As of now, my knee is working properly. [The doctors] Really happy, so we’re in a good direction for that.”

Diaz also didn’t want to get too ahead of himself. There are several tests he’ll need to pass before he’ll be allowed to pitch again, including running down the field, going up the mound, and throwing.

“But if all goes well,” he said, “I think I can go back eight months early.”

While Diaz’s injury in the WBC reignited the debate over whether star players should risk injury by participating in the event, he did not regret the decision to represent Puerto Rico.

“People can get infected at home, anywhere,” he said. “It happened to me in the WBC. I wasn’t doing shows, I was partying with my teammates. If I had the chance to play again for my country, I would do it again.”

Diaz, 29, signed a five-year, $102 million contract in the offseason, the most valuable contract ever signed by a relief pitcher after posting the best season of his career with a 1.31 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and 32 strikeouts. Saved in 25 chances.

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