CHICAGO -- New York Mets starter R.A. Dickey will be examined Friday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan after leaving Thursday's game in the third inning when he crumpled to the ground while attempting to cover first base during a 9-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Dickey has an injury to his right heel, the team announced. The knuckleballer wore a boot and used a crutch after the game.
Any absence would further decimate a thin starting rotation that has lost Chris Young with a torn anterior capsule in his right shoulder.
The Mets do not expect Johan Santana to return from surgery to repair his shoulder tear until July.
"It would be a big loss," manager Terry Collins said.
"I kind of froze," Dickey said. "And then when I saw Murphy go to get the ball it kind of took me by surprise and I started up again. And when I did I felt a real intense burning sensation in my heel and involuntarily just went down. ... It's like I stepped on a railroad tie upside down, like a spike."
Collins said there was a small piece of good news in the initial diagnosis by trainers.
"At first they thought it was an Achilles tendon," Collins said. "I guess that's fully intact, so that's not the issue."
"This is all new to me," Dickey said. "I've never had the sensation I had when I was out there."
If Dickey lands on the disabled list, which seems likely despite his hope otherwise, long reliever Pat Misch would be a logical option to step into the rotation. Collins also mentioned 24-year-old Chris Schwinden at Triple-A Buffalo, and after prodding D.J. Carrasco and then Josh Stinson, another Buffalo pitcher.
Misch might be the most likely rotation plug, with a reliever called up from Buffalo to help starting Friday after the bullpen logged 5 1/3 innings in the rubber-game loss in Chicago.
Other injury news was equally as sobering.
First baseman Ike Davis is eligible to return from the DL, but his sprained left ankle has not improved and Davis was unable to step on a field in Port St. Lucie, Fla., the past two days.
Third baseman David Wright (stress fracture in back) has resumed exercising but is a couple of weeks away at least.
Center fielder Angel Pagan, who landed on the DL April 22 with a strained left oblique, is expected to be activated Friday. Collins suggested Fernando Martinez likely would be demoted to clear roster room.
Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com.