Mets: Neil Walker has herniated disc in back

The Mets are unsure how much Walker will contribute down the stretch

Mets second baseman Neil Walker has a herniated disc in his back that is causing weakness in his lower body, especially his foot, manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday.

Walker, who has been out of the lineup the last four games, went for a second opinion on Wednesday but hasn’t gotten results yet.

According to Collins, the Mets are trying to figure out if surgery is necessary immediately or if Walker will attempt to return to the lineup.

Collins noted that Walker will eventually need surgery for the issue.

It was reported on Tuesday that Walker would attempt to play through the injury, with Collins saying he would need sporadic rest if he returned.

Walker has been the Mets’ hottest hitter lately, slashing .389/.450/.667 in August.

He’s hitting .282/.347/.476 with 23 home runs in 113 games this season. He’s due to become a free agent after the year.

It’s been expected that the Mets would extend a qualifying offer to Walker, but potential surgery could throw a wrench in that.

The news of Walker’s herniated disc sheds light on why both he and Collins were tight-lipped about it on Tuesday.

However, it was reported before Walker received a second opinion that he would (and could) play through it.

So, it’s safe to assume that if the second opinion is positive, Walker will suit up.

The question then becomes how often he’ll be able to play, and whether he’ll be able to play full games when he’s in the lineup.

Fortunately for the Mets, Wilmer Flores has been hitting incredibly well — against both lefties and righties — in Walker’s absence.

But the Mets are certainly better off if Walker is active and available. Add to that the fact that Asdrubal Cabrera is playing through a knee injury, and Walker’s return becomes even more important.

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