The Mets placed Brandon Nimmo on the IL on May 22 with his neck stiffness persisting and an MRI revealing inflammation. But the injury isn't just inflammation.
Nimmo, who first started dealing with the neck issue in mid-April (when he left a game against the Phillies due to a stiff neck), is also dealing with a bulging cervical disc and whiplash.
"I'm 26 years old. I had never had neck problems like this before," Nimmo told MLB.com's Anthony DiComo . "I take a lot of really good care of my body to try and prevent that stuff from happening, to warm it up. And so I was just like, 'Man, why does this keep happening?'"
Now why know why the neck problems weren't going away -- and perhaps why Nimmo was struggling so badly since leaving the game on April 16 -- as his triple slash dropped from .241/.388/.463 to .200/.344/.323 before landing on the IL.
Nimmo spoke after Saturday night's win, saying that he was given an injection to help the healing process and that he is already feeling better than he felt on Tuesday.
Asked if the injury had anything to do with his struggles, Nimmo refused to take the easy way out and blame it.
Still, the Mets now know that Nimmo's struggles over the last month and change are likely due in part to him trying to play through an injury. But it doesn't make the timing of his absence any easier to handle.
Along with Nimmo, the Mets are also without Michael Conforto (concussion) and Jeff McNeil (hamstring).
Conforto, who has been ramping up his activity, hopes to be cleared to return on Sunday when the Mets wrap up their three-game series against the Tigers.
McNeil, who landed on the IL on May 23, is hopeful he'll be able to return as soon as the 10 required days pass. He is eligible to return on June 1.
Nimmo is further away, but when he returns, he'll hopefully be back at 100 percent after battling this neck issue for most of the season.