ATLANTA -- Scott Atchison has rejoined the Mets for the first time since experiencing numbness in the fingers on his pitching hand during a May 13 appearance at St. Louis.
Atchison, 37, had his rehab interrupted for a week when the issue -- related to a bone spur pressing on a nerve in his elbow -- flared up after appearances with Class A St. Lucie. He sought opinions from team doctor David Altchek as well as Dr. James Andrews. The issue seemed to calm when he resumed his rehab appearance with Double-A Binghamton.
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"I wasn't feeling anything when I was throwing. I was feeling stuff after I was throwing," Atchison said Tuesday morning. "We stopped to kind of get a second opinion, make sure mostly that I wasn't doing any kind of permanent damage to the nerve, and [learn] why it was not happening when I'm throwing and then I catch a little bit of it.
"Just after talking to Andrews, he reiterated what Altchek said. He's like, 'You've got some swelling. When it swells, it maybe causes you to get some of that. As long as you keep the swelling down, the bigger thing is you're not doing any long-term damage to the nerve. You won't sever the nerve.'
"It's gone away," Atchison continued. "You might have a moment here and there where you feel something during the day or whatever. But he's like, 'You should be fine.'"
Atchison may need to get the bone spur removed after the season, but for now it seems "manageable."
"I got varying opinions on that," Atchison said about the need for offseason sugery. "It almost was, 'See where you are at the end of the year. If it's bothering you at the end of the year and you feel like you pitched through something, then that's probably a good idea.' But I also got told that if it feels good and you're not having any problems with it, then there's probably no reason to take it out."
Atchison is relieved. When he left St. Louis after the May 13 appearance, there was the concern Tommy John surgery might be necessary. That was a debate last year, before Atchison decided to skip the procedure, rehab for two months and then return with the Boston Red Sox in September.
"Both doctors seem to think that my ligament was actually in pretty good shape," Atchison said. "Whatever I was told last year -- they looked at a different MRI -- so maybe it was a better picture [this time]. But they said the ligament looks a lot better than they were expecting."
The Mets can carry 26 players for today's doubleheader. Terry Collins said Monday he expected Atchison and Zack Wheeler to be activated and Justin Turner (intercostal strain) to land on the DL.