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Mets to promote righty Seth Lugo from Triple-A Las Vegas

Right-hander Seth Lugo, who can serve in a starting or relief capacity, is being promoted to the New York Mets.

Lugo is 3-4 with a 6.55 ERA in 19 appearances (13 starts) this season with Triple-A Las Vegas.

The Mets obviously need coverage in case Steven Matz has an elbow issue and needs to depart. Logan Verrett threw 92 pitches Wednesday in Washington and would be unavailable for that role.

Left-hander Sean Gilmartin has been demoted to Las Vegas.

Lugo, 26, already is on the 40-man roster.

His two-seam fastball sits at 88-90 mph. His four-seam fastball sits at 92-94 mph. He also throws a slider, curveball and changeup.

Lugo went 5-2 with a 3.66 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) for Kingsport during the summer of 2011, immediately after he was drafted. However, he was forced to miss his first full season as a professional because of a spinal issue.

Shortly before his first spring training in 2012, he felt back spasms during an abdominal exercise and was sore for a few days, but dismissed the issue. Things then got far more severe. After reporting to Mets camp in Port St. Lucie, he felt radiating pain down his right leg, which it ultimately was determined was being caused by nerve damage.

“I didn’t really feel much pain in my back besides a few back spasms here and there,” Lugo recalled last year. “All the pain was from my hip all the way down to my toes. My whole right leg was just really painful, just like someone was stabbing me all over.”

He underwent lumbar spinal fusion surgery that May to address the pressure on a spinal nerve.

The first three months after the procedure he was confined to bed rest. The following three months he underwent rehab. At the six-month mark, he finally was able to return to a gym and resume normal workouts. He also was able to begin getting his arm back in shape. He was cleared to resume playing baseball nine months after the surgery.

“It was tough,” Lugo said of the rehab phase. “I had no range of motion -- bending over, twisting, anything. It was kind of weird. I had to basically start over from anything that I had ever really done, whether getting in my truck or sitting down. It was different and a little difficult to get back going. But I worked hard through rehab and got through it.”