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Mets LHP Niese to open season on DL

The SportsXchange

New York Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese will open the season on the disabled list, but is expected to still pitch in the team's first homestand, ESPN.com reported Thursday.

The plan is for Niese, who was scheduled to start the March 31 season opener against the Washington Nationals, to pitch in the sixth game of the season on April 6 against the Cincinnati Reds.

That is the first day Niese would be allowed to be activated from the disabled list. Teams are allowed to backdate DL stints nine days into spring training, as long as the player does not appear in a Grapefruit League game during that span.

Niese received a cortisone injection in his left elbow Monday in New York to try to alleviate inflammation after undergoing an MRI. He has no structural damage in his left elbow.

Niese is due to work with a weighted ball on Thursday at the team's Port St. Lucie, Fla., complex, and start throwing off a mound next week.
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