Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY Published 5:32 p.m. ET March 24, 2020 | Updated 5:33 p.m. ET March 24, 2020CLOSE USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale breaks down how COVID-19 is impacting MLB players and their willingness to get surgeries. USA TODAYNoah Syndergaard’s Tommy John surgery is a blow for one of the game’s most charismatic pitchers, a 100-mph flamethrower with a flowing mane, a dry sense of humor and, at 27, a lucrative future ahead of him.Thursday, perhaps around the time the New York Mets were scheduled to jog out to the baselines at Citi Field for their Opening Day intros, Syndergaard’s right elbow will be reconstructed, costing him whatever will be of the 2020 season and most of 2021, too.Syndergaard was to be a free agent after next year, though with baseball’s coronavirus-forced shutdown, even that status is up in the air. Still, it’s an untimely setback for a pitcher who in 2019 topped the 200-strikeout mark for the second time in his career.What’s far less clear: The true impact of an injury like this on a potential 2020 season.In that light, this news is unfortunate but not devastating for the Mets and their fans.Losing Syndergaard for the 32 starts


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