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Mets may have Carlos Correa issue ‘down the road’: medical expert

The issue believed to be holding up the deal between Carlos Correa and the Mets is unlikely to be a concern for the first half of his contract.

It’s the back half of Correa’s agreed-upon 12-year, $315 million deal with the Mets where an old ankle injury could potentially become a factor, according to a medical expert.

Correa underwent arthroscopic surgery in 2014 to repair a fractured fibula and minor ligament damage, suffered while sliding into a base in the minor leagues, and had a metal plate inserted to help stabilize his right leg.

“The fact that this happened eight years ago, and he hasn’t had any real issues with it since usually means that it’s actually holding up pretty well,” Dr. Brandon Erickson, an orthopedic surgeon at the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute who has not examined Correa, said Wednesday in a phone interview. “Sometimes with a ligament injury, the ankle can be just a little more unstable than the other side. Sometimes it can lead to a little bit of early arthritis in the ankle, which may be what he’s starting to develop over time.”

Carlos Correa’s 2014 ankle surgery is currently holding up his deal with the Mets.
AP

Such an issue would show up in an MRI exam, which was part of Correa’s physical with the Mets before his deal could become official. The Giants also reportedly expressed concern over Correa’s lower right leg, putting a snag in the 13-year, $350 million deal they had previously agreed to and opening the door for the Mets.

Now, the Mets and Correa’s camp are trying to work through the issue, with one possibility being the addition of contract language to protect the club should Correa’s old ankle injury sideline him for an extended stretch.

“[It’s] something that wouldn’t necessarily have any impact on him for the next three to five years, but if you’re going for a 10-15 year contract, for him, a 12-13-year contract, you can worry just a little bit that down the road, could that creep up and be something that could potentially bother him towards the back end of the contract?” Erickson said.

Correa’s agent, Scott Boras, insisted last week that the star shortstop had “no current issue,” but that “all the conjecture and evaluation of him has been about physicians using their crystal ball for years to come.”

Erickson, who previously worked as an assistant team physician for the Mets during his fellowship and now serves as an assistant team physician for the Phillies, said doctors performing physicals are in a difficult position trying to predict how a player’s health will hold up long term.

Carlos Correa
Carlos Correa
Getty Images

“Whenever you sign somebody to an over 10-year contract, there’s always an inherent level of risk with anything that’s popped up in the past,” Erickson said. “Honestly, we can give our best guess, but it is just that — it’s just a guess. So that’s the hard thing with it because you just don’t know.”

Correa has missed just 42 games over the past three seasons, none for anything related to his past ankle injury. It did come up in September when he got tagged on the area in his lower leg where he has the plate, as he later told reporters it felt “numb” and “vibrating.” But Erickson, who sustained a similar injury during his college football career, said that was not unusual.

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