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Mets' Niese blames 'imbalance' for shoulder pain

AP - Sports

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) -- New York Mets left-hander Jon Niese says the discomfort he feels in his throwing shoulder probably stems from focusing too much on strengthening his rotator cuff.

He was on the disabled list from June 21 to Aug. 11 last season with a partial tear in his rotator cuff.

''This offseason that's pretty much all I was working on,'' Niese said Friday. ''I neglected the other things. So everything was at an imbalance.''

He complained of a dead arm after throwing live batting practice early this week and was sent to New York for an MRI. The test Thursday revealed some muscle weakness but no structural issues. Niese expects to be ready to make his second straight opening day start.

''The shoulder blade is going at an awkward position,'' he said. ''That's relaying up to my shoulder.''

Dr. David Altchek told him that was causing a pinching feeling.

Niese plans to throw off flat ground Saturday and work on strengthening the scapula muscle. He was scratched from his first Grapefruit League start next Tuesday against the Houston Astros and isn't sure when he'll return to the mound.

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