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Mets closer Parnell suffers partial elbow tear

New York Mets pitcher Bobby Parnell regroups after allowing the Atlanta Braves to go ahead on an RBI single by Jason Heyward in the ninth in
New York Mets pitcher Bobby Parnell regroups after allowing the Atlanta Braves to go ahead on an RBI single by Jason Heyward in the ninth in

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Mets closer Bobby Parnell may need surgery after tests revealed a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, the National League team said on Tuesday.

Parnell complained of tightness in his right forearm after Monday's Opening Day game against the visiting Washington Nationals, in which he allowed a run to blow a save in the ninth inning of a 10-inning, 9-7 loss at Citi Field.

The Meta are already without starting pitcher Matt Harvey, who is recovering from surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow suffered late last season.

Hoping Parnell can avoid surgery, the right-hander was injected with platelet-rich plasma and will rest for about two weeks before beginning a throwing program that will determine whether an operation is necessary.

Parnell saved 22 games in 26 chances last season with a 2.16 earned run average.

Former Detroit Tigers closer Jose Valverde was expected to take over as primary closer while Parnell is sidelined.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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