Terry Collins alludes to ligament tear in Juan Lagares' elbow

TORONTO -- When Juan Lagares was shut down after a Sept. 16 game last season, the New York Mets described the center fielder's right elbow injury as a sprain, which technically is a stretch or tear of a ligament. Team officials made it clear at the time that Lagares would not require surgery.

The topic came up again during manager Terry Collins' pregame media session Thursday, with even a passing reference to Tommy John surgery. Lagares has managed elbow discomfort throughout this season.

"The elbow injury is something that it, for sure, has kept him from making the throws that he would normally make on a daily basis," Collins said. "We've asked him to be smart about when he really wants to let it loose. It's got to be a big situation. It's got to be a situation where he knows he's got to make a play. But just to throw every guy out on the bases like he did early last year, we're just asking for an injury to show up."

Will the injury remedy itself?

"Well, there's only a couple of things you can do," Collins continued. "One would be to have Tommy John and the other would be to rest it and just be careful. They said Carlos Gomez has exactly the same type of thing. If you take care of it, he's a position player, so he can play with this. A lot of guys have -- even pitchers, to be honest. We just have to be careful that he doesn't get crazy and make an awkward throw or try to overthrow too much. ... The throw he made in Pittsburgh was the one that scared me the most, because he threw it all the way in the air, and he threw it a long way, and he threw it hard. Those are the ones we have to be careful of."

Asked about Collins' reference to Tommy John surgery, general manager Sandy Alderson indicated he was caught off-guard by the inquiry and that such a serious elbow procedure is not on the radar.

"It's not anything we're looking at," Alderson said. "It's not an issue. He has soreness in the elbow."

On a positive note, Collins added that the strain in Lagares' right armpit area has subsided.

"The rib injury is going away. So that's not a factor," Collins said. "He's swinging the bat real well right now."