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Jon Niese has begun long-tossing in Port St. Lucie, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Niese was diagnosed with a partially torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder three weeks ago, but doctors performed an MRI on his shoulder on Monday and cleared him to begin a throwing program.

Niese is 3-6 with a 4.32 ERA in 14 starts in 2013.

There's clearly hope Niese will pitch again this season, which is obviously good news. However, shoulder injuries — especially to the rotator cuff — are not easy to come back from for any pitcher. For now, Carlos Torres will serve as a placeholder for Niese, but I expect it will take at least a month before it's known whether Niese will be able to come back this year.

Tags: MetsBlog
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