Opening day is in jeopardy for Brandon Nimmo.
The Mets have avoided the worst with the center fielder, who left a Grapefruit League game with an ankle injury on Friday night. Pictures taken Saturday morning showed a low-grade sprain to his right knee and ankle and is considered week by week.
General manager Billy Eppler says the club is relieved to see no structural damage to Nimmo’s ankle or knee. A week-by-week timeline doesn’t sound promising and means he probably won’t be ready to start the season, but Eppler seemed to have some optimism with just under two weeks to go until spring training.
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Nimmo was injured sliding into second base Friday night against the Miami Marlins at Clover Park. He appeared to twist his knee in an odd way and manager Buck Showalter said Nimmo took a puncture in the ankle but overall he was feeling fine.
Without Nimmo, the Mets have a hole to fill defensively in center field and at the top of the lineup. His skills and speed on base, plus his ability to hit with some power from the left side, have made him a valuable leadoff hitter. The Mets’ outfield depth is a bit thin with Tommy Pham and Tim Locastro, but Locastro brings speed, so Nimmo’s injury could open up a spot for him on the major league team.
The Mets assigned two other outfielders to minor league camp on Saturday, sending Jaylin Davis and Abraham Almonte to the other side of the complex.
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In other injury news, lefty Jose Quintana underwent bone graft surgery on Friday and the procedure went well. It’s been a tough week for the Mets with the club seeing the losses of Quintana, right-handers Bryce Montes de Oca and Sam Coonrod, as well as closer Edwin Diaz. Nimmo’s injury is unfortunate, but the Mets are happy to know it’s only moderate.