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Mets’ Noah Syndergaard to DL again due to hand-foot-and-mouth disease

New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard delivers against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, July 13, 2018, in New York. (Julie Jacobson / Associated Press)
New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard delivers against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, July 13, 2018, in New York. (Julie Jacobson / Associated Press)
By Mike Fitzpatrick Associated Press

NEW YORK – In the latest bizarre medical development for the baffling New York Mets, ace pitcher Noah Syndergaard is headed back to the disabled list after contracting hand-foot-and-mouth disease.

The team figures it’s likely Syndergaard caught the contagious virus when he made an appearance at a baseball camp for kids last Thursday during the All-Star break. Mets manager Mickey Callaway said that probably explains why Syndergaard weakened and his velocity decreased during Friday night’s victory at Yankee Stadium.

“Hand-foot-and-mouth, are you serious? I guess it’s very uncommon in adults, period,” Callaway said Sunday. “It’s kind of odd. Maybe the first DL stint in Major League Baseball with hand-foot-and-mouth? I don’t know. A record or something.”

According to WebMD.com, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is an infectious disease that “most often occurs in children under 10 and is characterized by a rash of small blister-like sores on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and in the mouth. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, and headache.”

The disease can spread from one person to another through saliva or fluid from blisters, among other things, and the infection normally passes in a week. The only treatment is a pain reliever such as acetaminophen, according to the website.

“It took its toll the other night. He had trouble breathing, and that’s why you saw his velo down,” Callaway said. “During the game, we couldn’t quite figure it out. But I put my hands on his legs to talk to him when he came out, and I felt his legs shaking. He was just weak and run down.”

Syndergaard, who missed most of last season with a torn lat muscle, just returned from the disabled list July 13 after being sidelined for more than six weeks with a strained ligament in his right index finger. He is 6-1 with a 2.89 ERA in 13 starts this year for the struggling Mets, who began the night last in the NL East.

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