Despite a late-season injury that ended a tough year health-wise, RHP Dellin Betances is on the path to a Spring Training return.
Formerly with the Yankees from 2011-18, the new Mets reliever was introduced Thursday at Citi Field in New York, where he provided an update on his partially torn left Achilles.
After the injury occurred on Sept. 15 -- his 2019 debut, following a long stint on the 60-day injured list with a right shoulder impingement and low-grade lat strain -- Betances did not get surgery.
"Well, under this offseason, Hospital for Special Surgery (in New York), I've been under their watch this whole time and Dr. David Altchek, which is a doctor for the Mets and ... one of the PTs who helps out as well -- I've been under their surveillance, so I kind of feel like this timing is perfect," Betances said.
"They've helped me out tremendously. Also, Dr. (Martin J.) O'Malley is a guy that -- he told me that I didn't need the surgery at the time. And I feel good at this point. Pretty much, I'll be ready to go in spring training. And that's the important part."
Dellin Betances says he'll be ready to go for Spring Training: pic.twitter.com/fDwMO3AS1c- SNY (@SNYtv) January 2, 2020
"Our expectation is he should be ready to go," said general manager Brodie Van Wagenen. "I don't think there should be any restrictions once we get to Spring Training."
After spending six weeks in a walking boot, Betances is maintaining regular offseason activities with the healing Achilles, preparing to rev up his throwing program as the spring inches closer.
"It's typically a normal offseason, as far as throwing-wise and preparation -- the only thing is that I have to work a lot harder now, because I've got to kind of gain some of that strength back that you lose when you have to wear a boot for six weeks," Betances said. "So that's pretty much it. My training is a lot more hours, but throwing-wise, I'm doing everything I have to do. I should (throw) off the mound here in a week or so, so I'm on track to be ready. I'm long-tossing right now, I'm doing flat-ground."
Betances did not put a percentage on where exactly he feels in his recovery process, but is ultimately looking forward to getting back on the field for the 2020 season with the Mets.
"It definitely was a crazy year last year," Betances said. "There was some good -- obviously, my son's birth was something great for us, as a family. But as far as season-wide, it was a disappointing year. I wanted to be there for my teammates and I wasn't able to do that. But at the same time, going into this offseason, being here now, I think that kind of brings all the excitement back and I can't wait to get back out there on the field."