New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler has suffered several serious arm injuries over the last three-plus years and he revealed a painful approach to remedy the situation.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Wheeler announced he underwent a series of stomach injections – over the span of six months – to help promote bone strength and increase bone mineral density.
"They said two full months will basically heal it on its own, but [former Mets pitcher] Erik Goeddel on our team last year did the injections when he had the same problem and said they helped out tremendously, so I said 'why not just do it?'" Wheeler said, via the New York Daily News.
"Being healthy is the biggest thing. You really can't hope being healthy, but you can sort of do everything to prevent and that's what I'm doing this past offseason. I changed up my workout routine, started eating a little bit healthier and did those extra shots. Everything I can do to be out there I'm going to do."
Wheeler, 27, showed promise during his first two MLB seasons (2013, 2014), but he missed all of 2015 and 2016 following Tommy John surgery. He then missed the second half of last season with a stress reaction in his right arm. He was 3-7 with a 5.21 ERA in 17 starts when he was shut down.
"I was happy with where I was at last year before my arm trouble started creeping up on me," Wheeler said.
"I felt happy and excited to be healthy and out there and pitching well, and going out there every fifth day and then that sort of started sneaking up on me, derailed my season."
If healthy, Wheeler is expected to rejoin the Mets' rotation this season.