ST. LOUIS — Moments after what may go down as one of the most thrilling wins of the Mets’ 2022 season, the team learned that its top ace, widely regarded as the best pitcher in baseball, has been cleared to begin ramping up.

Jacob deGrom’s latest MRI and CT scan “revealed considerable healing of the stress reaction on his scapula,” the Mets announced on Monday night following their 5-2 comeback win over the Cardinals.

DeGrom, who began the season on the injured list after a late-spring injury, will begin “loading and strengthening” his right shoulder, according to the Mets. He will undergo more images, likely another MRI and CT scan, in approximately three weeks, the team said.

When exactly deGrom will start throwing again will depend entirely on how his shoulder reacts to the “loading and strengthening” phase. So there is no timeline just yet on how soon deGrom can truly start building his pitch count. But for now, the fact that the right-hander’s scapula is healing is good news for a Mets team that so far has had no shortage of positive energy to begin the season.

The Mets are 13-5 to start the year, and that’s without their best pitcher. The strong starting rotation, led by Max Scherzer, has managed to overcome deGrom’s absence and lead the majors with a 2.29 ERA. The rotation’s success only makes deGrom’s impending return that much scarier for opposing teams.

Given that deGrom has to start from scratch once he is cleared to throw, it is unlikely the two-time Cy Young winner will join the rotation before the end of June, at best. It is unclear if the Mets will wait until deGrom’s next tests before giving him the green light to start throwing. In such a scenario, deGrom will pick up a ball around the middle of May, with 4-6 weeks of a pitching ramp-up to follow.


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