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Syndergaard won't return until after All-Star break

NEW YORK — Noah Syndergaard hair hats were given to the first 15,000 fans at the Mets' game against the Miami Marlins on Saturday night. That is the closest the star pitcher's flowing blond locks will make it to the Citi Field mound in the next few months.

Syndergaard will be sidelined through at least the All-Star break because of a torn muscle behind his right arm.

The hardest-throwing starting pitcher in the major leagues with an average fastball velocity of 98.1 mph this year, Syndergaard partially tore his latissimus dorsi against Washington last Sunday. The 24-year-old right-hander has been told not to throw for about six weeks and he will need a long period to build up arm strength again, equivalent to a full spring training,

"It stings," Syndergaard said Saturday, two days after he was examined in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Syndergaard was scratched from an April 27 start against Atlanta with what the Mets said was biceps and shoulder discomfort. He pitched April 30 at Washington, lasted just 11/3 innings and went on the 10-day disabled list the following day.

"I don't regret it at all," he said. "I threw a bullpen two days prior and I felt great, ready to go. Just something weird happened."

Nicknamed Thor for his hair, size and swagger, Syndergaard is 1-2 with a 3.29 ERA in five starts this year after going 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA last season.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson wouldn't give a timetable for Syndergaard's return and said the pitcher could be put on the 60-day DL.

The club has been hamstrung by injuries all season, and it got some more bad news Saturday — shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera injured his left thumb against the Marlins. Cabrera tried to make a diving, backhand stop of Marcell Ozuna's grounder on the outfield grass in the third inning. He was removed from the game and walked off the field just as umpires signaled for a rain delay.

The Mets said X-rays were negative and Cabrera will have an MRI on Sunday.

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