Max Scherzer to return from IL, pitch for New York Mets in Cincinnati

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NEW YORK – He is baaaack. Well, almost.

Before the Mets’ series opener with the Texas Rangers on Friday at Citi Field, co-ace Max Scherzer revealed he would return from IL to kick off his next round in the big league rotation.

According to Scherzer, the Mets are targeting Cincinnati on Tuesday, which will be his first major league start since falling with a slant stump on May 18.

Although he originally hoped to return to Miami last Sunday, Scherzer’s body told him he needed another rehab start, which he made Wednesday night for Double A Binghamton. During that outing, Scherzer spanned 80 pitches in 4 1/3 innings and is now eyeing a potential six-inning, 90-pitch big league debut against the Reds.

“I had to work in a bit of traffic, I was about to come back and do five ups, make 80 pitches, and everything felt good, so I’m good to go,” Scherzer said.

Scherzer will have six days off between starts, but that won’t affect how many times he takes the mound before the All-Star break. What that could have is if he pitches for the Mets in their pivotal three-game series in Atlanta against the Braves July 11-13. If Scherzer stayed an extra day off, he would take over for New York at Truist Park when the series opens in Atlanta on the 11th. But manager Buck Showalter didn’t want to go overboard when asked about it.

“When you look at the history and timeline of this injury, he met all the criteria,” Showalter said.

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Scherzer is confident he is past the rehabilitation part of his oblique injury and can now focus on throwing. The 37-year-old said there will be new exercises he will need to include in his training routine for the rest of his career to reduce the risk of getting the injury again. This isn’t the first injury that Scherzer and other major league pitchers have had to do maintenance work for.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner has been extremely careful to listen to his body in order to avoid a setback during his rehab process. He has now cleared the final hurdle needed to join the big league staff.

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