MIAMI — New York Mets star Edwin Diaz is expected to miss the entire 2023 season with a knee injury suffered at the World Baseball Classic.
The Mets announced that Diaz has a “full-thickness” patellar tendon tear in his right knee and will undergo surgery Thursday afternoon.
Mets general manager Billy Eppler told reporters that the organization would not “update Edwin’s schedule for some time,” but noted that the overall recovery from patellar tendon surgery takes eight months.
Diaz, 28, signed a five-year, $102 million contract — a deal that made him the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball — this offseason to return to the Mets after having the best season of his seven-year career. The hard-throwing right-hander had 32 saves, a 1.31 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 62 innings last season for the Mets.
Eppler said Diaz was “in good spirits” Thursday ahead of the surgery, which will be performed by Dr. David Altcheck.
Diaz was injured Wednesday night while celebrating Puerto Rico’s victory over the Dominican Republic on the field.
The Puerto Rican players were jumping together on the infield when Diaz fell to the ground and quickly reached for his right leg. The two-time All-Star was in tears and didn’t put any weight on her leg before being carted off the field in a wheelchair.
Diaz’s brother, Cincinnati Reds player Alexis Diaz, also cried when Edwin was taken away. Mets teammate and Puerto Rican shortstop Francisco Lindor stood nearby with his hands on his head.
Losing Diaz for any length of time hampers the Mets’ efforts to win their first World Series since 1986 and, in the short term, dampens the joy of Puerto Rico beating their rivals in a win-or-go-home game.
Diaz, who told ESPN earlier this week that the game against the Dominican Republic “will be like Game 7 of the World Series,” struck out the team in a 21-pitch ninth inning, leading a sold-out crowd of 36,025. LoanDepot Park is in a frenzy.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
READ ALSO | An elderly dog was euthanized hours after escaping from its owner’s yard in Queens
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News