NEW YORK (AP) — Noah Syndergaard threw 16 pitches Thursday night in a rehab start for High-A Brooklyn, the first outing in months for the New York Mets’ right-hander following a setback during his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Syndergaard gave up a leadoff homer, the only hit he allowed in one inning against the Aberdeen IronBirds. He struck out one.

“It’s definitely a sigh of relief and a step in the right direction,” he said.

Syndergaard was shut down in May with elbow discomfort as he was rehabbing from March 2020 Tommy John surgery.

The hard-throwing Syndergaard revealed Thursday night that doctors advised him not to throw his slider for the rest of the year because perhaps the torque on his elbow from that pitch caused his setback. So on his own, he’s scrapped his curveball for now, too.

Syndergaard said he thinks he can be effective with just a four-seam fastball, two-seamer and changeup. The struggling Mets have indicated he could return in September as a reliever, and Syndergaard said he’s open to any role.

After the season, he can become a free agent.

“I can’t imagine leaving New York or leaving the Mets,” Syndergaard said.


More AP MLB: and