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Mets’ Díaz expected to miss entire season after freak injury

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz has a torn patellar tendon and is expected to miss the entire season after hurting his right knee while celebrating a victory in the World Baseball Classic.

Mets general manager Billy Eppler said Díaz would undergo surgery Thursday. Without going into specifics, Eppler said a general timeline for recovery from this type of injury is about eight months.

The Mets signed Díaz to a five-year, $102 million contract — the largest ever for a closer — after he produced a spectacular 2022 season. All player contracts are covered by insurance through the WBC that spans the length of time the player is out with an injury suffered during the tournament.

Díaz went 3-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 32 saves in 35 opportunities while striking out 118 batters in 62 innings last season. He made his second All-Star appearance and finished ninth in the Cy Young Award voting.

Díaz, who turns 29 on Wednesday, retired the side in order in the ninth inning of a 5-2 victory over the Dominican Republic that sent Puerto Rico to the World Baseball Classic quarterfinals. As Díaz and his teammates jumped together in the infield, the right-hander collapsed and reached for his right leg.

He was taken off the field in a wheelchair.

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