There was already much cause for concern with regard to the status of New York Mets ace Max Scherzer. Scherzer exited his previous start against his former club, the Washington Nationals, just after five innings and 67 innings pitched with Scherzer initially called as left-side fatigue.

Manager Buck Showalter, when asked earlier about the potential course of action with Scherzer, said that the team was mulling three options for Scherzer. What Showalter and the Mets did not foresee was Scherzer missing additional time, unfortunate for a team locked in a tight race with the Atlanta Braves for the NL East lead.

Anthony DiComo, the Mets beat writer for MLB.com, tweeted that Scherzer will be going to the injured list due to a left-side injury.

Max Scherzer had already dealt with an oblique injury back in mid-May, returning to the mound in July. Him exiting his previous start was supposed to be a precautionary move to cushion his oblique from further injury, but with him going to the injured list, it seems like the injury that kept him out for a little over a month has left the 38-year-old Scherzer with a bit more wear and tear than the Mets would like.

However, Scherzer is not worried about the severity of his injury.

“This is days, not weeks. This is not a significant injury,” Scherzer told reporters.

Scherzer’s injury will be a huge blow to the Mets’ hopes of regaining their division lead against the Braves. In 20 starts this season, the three-time Cy Young Award winner has turned in an excellent 2.26 ERA with 153 strikeouts in 127.2 innings pitched (20 starts), leading the team in pitching WAR, per Fangraphs.

Scherzer has certainly been worth the three-year, $130 million deal he signed in the offseason, as he’s given the Mets yet another dominant arm to lead the rotation. His addition has certainly been needed, after fellow ace Jacob deGrom suffered through injury problems of his own, making only six starts this season.

The Mets will hope that Max Scherzer is right and that the injury won’t keep him out for long. While Chris Bassitt and Carlos Carrasco are capable pitchers in their own right, elite starting pitchers make a world of difference in the postseason. Scherzer definitely has that championship pedigree the Mets need, especially after leading the Nationals to a World Series victory in 2019.