Could Jose Reyes Be Out for the Season?

The official word from is that Jose Reyes has been diagnosed with “tendinitis in calf” (that’s the actual headline). From

The MRI showed that Reyes has tendinitis behind his right calf and he is officially listed as day-to-day.

As usual, we are getting mixed signals and mysterious information from the Mets in regard to an injury. I don’t blame the medical staff, but rather the people acting as the filter between the doctors and the public.

First of all, I didn’t think it was possible to have “tendinitis in the calf”. The calf is a muscle, not a tendon, right? There is one major tendon “behind the calf”, and that is the achilles. Most people who have been around sports long enough know that an injury to the achilles is a major problem — something that could put an athlete out of action for 3-4 months, possibly longer. Knowing the history of incomplete information the Mets have provided us in the past, there’s every reason to suspect that Reyes’ injury is in fact “achilles tendinitis”, but they’re not telling the public that — partially so they don’t lose leverage in any trade negotiations.

But, I’m just a semipro athlete and semipro blogger with outrageous suspicions and conspiracy theories. To put my mind at ease, I spoke with Dr. James Gladstone, a sports medicine specialist in the Department of Orthopaedics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and a board certified orthopaedic surgeon who received sports medicine training under Dr. James Andrews at the American Sports Medicine institute in Alabama. He has extensive experience in sports injuries, from muscle strains, tendinitis and other overuse injuries to acute ligament tears and joint dislocations.

Now, to be clear, Dr. Gladstone IS NOT treating Jose Reyes and has NO CONNECTION to the Mets. I merely asked him to provide some background information on the calf, the achilles, and the associated muscles and tendons in that area of the leg.

According to Dr. Gladstone, the calf is indeed muscular:

“It’s actually a group of muscles. There are two layers, the gastrox and the soleus, which is deeper. And there is a whole set of smaller muscles that go down to help them — extensor flexor, there’s the posterior tibialis … so, yeah, there are a whole bunch of them. But the main ones are the gastrox and the soleus, which join to form the achilles tendon further down.”

Dr. Gladstone did confirm that there are tendons behind the calf muscle,

“… a tendon attaches muscle to the bone … every muscle has a tendon”.

I asked if an injury was described as “tendinitis behind the calf”, is it possible that the injury would in fact be “achilles tendinitis”. His answer:

“Achilles tendinitis is so well known that it probably would be called that. We don’t know where it is in the calf, so it could be the upper portion of that muscle where it attaches to the back of the knee.”

When I asked Dr. Gladstone if it could be something OTHER THAN the achilles, his answer was


Further, even if it Reyes does have achilles tendinitis, it’s not something that would cause grave concern:

“When you look at people who have had achilles tendon tears, over 85% of them have never had ANY achilles tendon symptoms. Achilles tendinitis is NOT part of the spectrum that goes on to rupture. So that’s generally not something we worry about.”

Armed with this information, my fears that Jose Reyes could tear his achilles and be out for the season have been quelled. The conspiracy theory is out the window, and the Mets will probably be fine with finding a temporary stopgap at shortstop, be it Ramon Martinez, Argenis Reyes, or some other low-cost, short-term solution. So if Danny Murphy can handle first base and start hitting again, there’s every reason to believe that the Mets don’t need to make any major acquisitions — unless you think replacing Alex Cora counts as “major”.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Eli From Brooklyn May 22, 2009 at 1:00 pm
    Yikes. Aren’t you a sore for good eyes?

    I do not want to think that Jose will be out for the remained of the season… Please! Let’s leave the collapses for September…not Mid-May.

    Thanks Joe.


  2. Eli From Brooklyn May 22, 2009 at 1:01 pm
    remainder* (im too scared too even type it)
  3. gentry May 22, 2009 at 2:15 pm
    Dude… irresponsible headline.
    uncalled for.
  4. joe May 22, 2009 at 3:01 pm
    Gentry, why was it irresponsible? Because it made you look?

    I received several emails from people asking if Reyes’ injury was to his achilles, if that meant he’d really be out for the season. After all, every pundit out there is saying this injury could be more detrimental to the Mets than Delgado’s, to the point where there are suggestions the Mets should acquire someone like Jack Wilson, Mark DeRosa, or Yuniesky Betancourt. That type of acquisition would suggest that Reyes would be out for a pretty long time.

  5. Filling the Holes : Mets Today May 22, 2009 at 3:46 pm
    […] weeks — I doubt we’ll see any big-name players come to the Mets. And we hopefully quelled the fear that Reyes is THAT hurt. Someone like Mark DeRosa would be great, but I don’t see the Mets handing over the package […]
  6. isuzudude May 22, 2009 at 10:39 pm
    Though Reyes’ injury may not lead to a tear in the achilles’ tendon, or any more debilitating injury, there’s no telling how much this current injury might linger. Is there any timetable for how long it takes “tendinitis behind the calf” to heal? Any treatment besides HGH and rest? Any threat of this injury flaring up throughout the entire course of the season? That’s more or less what I’m concerned with, and one the of the reasons why I’d still advocate for Reyes to go on the DL.
  7. Matt May 23, 2009 at 12:17 am
    Alberto Gonzalez good field no hit. Just sent down by Nats – would be a huge temporary defensive upgrade at little cost.
  8. […] for the return of injured semi-stars Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran. And Mets fans counting on the return of Jose Reyes will just have to wait: the everyday shortstop is still nursing his nagging calf and there’s a […]
  9. Castillo Out, Reyes Out Longer : Mets Today August 5, 2009 at 11:39 am
    […] middle infielder whose injury status was once described similarly — Jose Reyes (silly me, I thought he’d be out for the season!). The latest on Reyes is that he’s had a setback, he feels “discomfort” in his […]
  10. Carlos Beltran’s Knee Surgery : Mets Today January 14, 2010 at 2:05 am
    […] Here’s the bottom line: if indeed Beltran had microfracture surgery — and all signs seem to be pointing that way — there’s no way he’ll be playing before June. In fact there is a very real possibility he misses the entire 2010 campaign. This isn’t panic, it’s a statement of reality — not unlike the statement I posted here last May in regard to Jose Reyes. […]