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Carlos Correa's deal with the Mets is still on hold due to physical problems

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It’s been more than a week since Carlos Correa and the Mets reached an overnight agreement on a 12-year, $315 million contract and six days since the club found something it didn’t like about the shortstop’s medical. The Mets became the second team to cite Correa’s physique, with the San Francisco Giants the first to raise concerns about his surgically repaired right leg.

While playing in the minor leagues in June 2014, Correa fractured his fibula and suffered what the Houston Astros called a minor ligament injury to his upper right ankle. A plate was inserted to reduce the fracture and stabilize the ankle, which allowed the ligaments to heal.

The bigger question is what exactly the Mets and Giants found in the physique that was so alarming. The Doctor. Laith Jazrawi, an orthopedic sports surgeon at NYU Langone who did not treat Correa, said both teams likely had post-traumatic arthritis in the ankle. That could lead to ankle problems for the next decade, which is well within the 12-year contract the Mets offered Correa and the 13-year contract the Giants offered him before it fell apart and he agreed to terms. the team in Queens.

Carlos Correa has agreed to two different deals, but has yet to sign either.

“Post-traumatic arthritis – which means that even if you stabilize it and make it perfect, there’s still an impacted injury in the ankle,” said Dr. Jazrawi told the Daily News in a phone interview on Thursday. “And there may be findings suggestive of some other issues that may need surgery later on, which doesn’t necessarily have a great outcome.”

Correa may suffer from cartilage degeneration later in his career, which may require further surgery. This may be what gave the Mets and Giants some apprehension.

“Sometimes you can clean it, right? But that’s a problem they don’t want to deal with because it’s unpredictable,” said Dr. Jazrawi. “Once you have a kind of arthritis set in, it’s unpredictable how the athlete will respond to it, and it’s a degenerative process.”

Dr. Jazrawi, who serves as the NYU and LIU track team physician and was named one of the top physicians in his field by New York Magazine in 2013, said athletes who suffer similar injuries and undergo similar procedures sometimes require additional procedures to clean up. damaged cartilage or to repair holes in cartilage.

The results of these procedures differ from athlete to athlete. But if the Mets and Giants are already seeing signs of degeneration, it would make sense that clubs would be leaning towards reducing the number of contract years. It also explains why the Minnesota Twins medically cleared him to play last winter after he signed as a free agent – the arthritis may not have kicked in yet or it may not have been as significant.

At the end of last season with the Twins, he showed up injured after a player slipped on his right leg and hit the plate, but he wasted no time. Dr. Jazrawi said this is not a red flag or cause for concern.

“That’s no big deal,” he said. “You can take the plate away if you want, if the plate is pissing you off or something. That’s not the problem. There’s probably some X-ray findings that they’re concerned about, and the MRI, which showed probably some other problems with the cartilage.”

Correa has not missed a moment with injuries to his right leg or ankle since it was repaired. He sprained his left ankle in 2015 and spent time on the injured list in 2018 and 2019 with lower back injuries, but his right leg was not a factor for him throughout his eight-year major league career.

A year after undergoing surgery, he made his MLB debut and was named the AL Rookie of the Year. The 28-year-old Puerto Rican was a two-time All-Star and helped the Astros win the 2017 World Series.

If Correa and the Mets reach an agreement, he will move to third base. But until then, the staring contest continues.