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New York Mets 2B Neil Walker set for season-ending back surgery

By
The Sports Xchange
New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker (20) waves to the fans at PNC Park on June 7, 2016 in Pittsburgh. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI
New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker (20) waves to the fans at PNC Park on June 7, 2016 in Pittsburgh. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker simply couldn't play through the pain anymore and is opting for season-ending back surgery.

"The more I tried to push through it, I realized I was hurting the team and myself," Walker said Thursday prior to the team's game against the Miami Marlins. "I want nothing more than to be on the field."

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Manager Terry Collins confirmed Wednesday that Walker was diagnosed with a herniated disk that is causing leg weakness and foot numbness. Walker missed his fifth game in a row Thursday night. Before that, he appeared in just four of 11 contests from Aug. 16-27.

In his first season with New York since he was acquired in a December trade that sent left-hander Jon Niese to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Walker batted .282 with a .347 on-base percentage, a .476 slugging percentage, 23 homers and 55 RBIs in 113 games.

"Neil has played absolutely great," Collins said. "What he did early carried us in April and early May. He had a great year for us, and I sure hope we get the opportunity to get him back."

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Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores have been manning second base for the Mets in Walker's absence.

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