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Surgery not required for Juan Lagares' elbow issue

NEW YORK -- New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares will not require surgery to correct the issue that diminished his throwing capability this past season.

Lagares was examined Wednesday by team doctors, manager Terry Collins indicated that day.

The Mets previously had acknowledged that Lagares has a partial ligament tear in his right elbow.

Collins said in June: "Well, there's only a couple of things you can do. One would be to have Tommy John [surgery] 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."

On the eve of the 2015 regular season, Lagares signed a $23 million deal covering the 2016 through 2019 seasons. The Mets also hold a $9.5 million option for 2020, with a $500,000 buyout.

Lagares had been a Gold Glove winner in 2014 in center field, but his throwing issue was glaring this past season. He also took a major step backward at the plate and settled mostly into a platoon role -- primarily facing left-handed pitching. He hit .259/.289/.358, although Collins was complimentary that Lagares showed more plate discipline during the postseason.

With Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson slated to be full-time corner outfielders in 2016 and with Michael Cuddyer under contract for next season at $12.5 million, the Mets are expected to pursue a righty-hitting platoon mate for Lagares in center field during the offseason. Lefty-hitting center fielders who fit that profile include Colby Rasmus and Will Venable.