PORT ST. LUCIE – Jose Quintana’s fractured fifth rib on his left side will be repaired surgically with a bone graft, sidelining the Mets left-hander for at least the first half of the season.
Quintana chose the surgery over the conservative option of letting the fracture heal naturally, general manager Billy Eppler said Tuesday, after conferring with doctors that included an orthopedic tumor specialist because a lesion was discovered on the rib.
A biopsy determined the lesion was benign, clearing Quintana of cancer concerns.
Quintana’s surgery is scheduled for Friday.
Eppler wouldn’t provide a solid timetable on the 34-year-old Quintana’s return other than to say it will “go past July 1.”
The Post reported on Monday that Quintana was expected to be shut down from throwing for at least three months.
“A lot will depend on how soon Jose can resume physical activity,” Eppler said at Clover Park. “How much downtime does he need after this procedure? Does he need to take a week or two weeks or 10 days before he can run? It’s a fairly involved surgery. Whenever you do a bone graft it’s going to hurt, that is why it’s hard to set a specific timetable.”
Eppler said the odds of full recovery are better through surgery than under conservative care.
“Conservative care posed close to a coin flip outcome,” Eppler said. “This has higher certainty. It’s just surgery and what comes with surgery is shutdowns and you have to stop moving.”
Quintana arrived in December on a two-year contract worth $26 million.
With his absence, Tylor Megill and David Peterson are competing for a spot in the Mets’ rotation.