Mets' Max Scherzer 90% recovered from oblique injury but only halfway to returning to mound

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NEW YORK — Max Scherzer’s oblique strain is 90% recovered, but only halfway there.

The expensive Mets ace revealed he received a P4P injection not long after suffering his injury, and the treatment went well enough to begin his tedious climb to the finish line quickly.

”The way to describe this injury and the rehab of this, half of the battle is getting back to 90 percent and then the second half of this battle is 90 percent to 100 percent,” Scherzer said. “With the trainers here we’ve done a good job of getting back to 90 percent but I’m still fighting the fight here to get back to 100 percent.”

Confusing math notwithstanding, Tuesday’s update was encouraging. Scherzer threw in the outfield before the Mets’ game against the Brewers, having returned to the club after rehabbing at home during its 10-game road trip. He’s scheduled to pitch a live batting practice session this week and the ideal scenario, as Scherzer explained, is one rehab start before an MLB return.

But Scherzer was also careful not to put timelines or expectations on his recovery.

”You just have to keep increasing your workload. You have to be cognizant and very aware of your body from how you stress it and how does it respond. You have to know what’s going on and what is normal and what’s not,” Scherzer said. “The other way I kind of describe it right now is breaking in a new shoe. It doesn’t feel good when you break in a new shoe, but you got to do it. That’s how I kind of feel now. I’m breaking through the scar tissue here of getting back to throwing and bullpens and everything. As you stress it, you’re going to feel different things. But you don’t want it to spiral out of control and have a setback.”

The original recovery timeline of 6 to 8 weeks would have Scherzer back by mid-July. He’s not paying attention to that estimate.

”It means nothing to me. I’m just doing what I can do every single day,” Scherzer said. “Come out here and work, put my work in, whatever I can handle. If I can do it quickly, great. If I do it slower, great. I can only do what I can do.”

Scherzer noted that former Nationals teammate Yan Gomes returned just 19 days after treating the same injury with a PRP injection.

“Actually in a big league ballgame in 19 days. That’s crazy,” Scherzer said. “I can also see how he did it. If it works for you, it can really work. And I feel like it worked for me and got me back to 90 percent, the first half of this, pretty fast. I was back out there at 90 percent really quick. It’s the last 10 percent here that’s the danger.”

Scherzer’s update arrived as Jacob deGrom, who suffered a stress fracture in spring training, continued his “mound progressions.” It’s a tantalizing to think about reintegrating two aces to a club that currently holds the best record in the National League.

”It’s not hard to (think about those players coming back),” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “I’ve got some very loose dates on everybody. I’ve asked those questions, like I’m sure you would, or even a fan would, ‘Hey, best case scenario? Hey, worst case scenario? Try to get a window there.”

Although cautious about his outlook, Scherzer was happy to be back in the clubhouse.

”I hate watching them on TV. I’d rather be out there with them, but it is what it is,” Scherzer said. “I got to listen to Keith Hernandez a little bit more.”