Back surgery to end Walker’s season
NEW YORK — Mets second baseman Neil Walker will miss the rest of the season because of surgery for a herniated disk in his back, the latest in a series of severe injuries to strike the defending National League champions.
Walker made the announcement before the wild-card contenders played the Marlins.
“It just wasn’t getting better,” he said.
Had Walker continued to play, he estimated he would’ve been at “60 percent.” Or, as Mets manager Terry Collins said Walker told him, “Not sure I can help.”
Walker has been a steady presence in his first season with the Mets, tying a career high with 23 home runs while batting .282 with 55 RBIs. Collins often has praised Walker for his production on the field and his leadership qualities in the clubhouse.
“Walk gave it his best effort,” Collins said, later adding, “Neil’s played absolutely great.”
Walker said he felt OK to swing, but that it was the other things — diving for balls, sliding, trying to break up double plays — that is extremely difficult. He said the back problem has left him without feeling in his toe.
No one thing caused him the trouble, he said. Instead, the cause was the “culmination of the wear and tear of baseball.”
“I’ve played through this for four years,” he said.
The switch-hitter, who turns 31 this month, said the success rate for his type of surgery is “very high” and that the recovery period is three months.
No date has yet been set for the surgery.
Third baseman David Wright, first baseman Lucas Duda, ace Matt Harvey, slugger Yoenis Cespedes and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera also have missed significant time this season.