New York Mets first baseman Lucas Duda might be out for longer than than his 4-6 week timetable, says a renowned specialist.

The New York Mets’ medical staff is notorious for being colossally inept at diagnosing injuries.

Lucas Duda, the team’s veteran first baseman, was diagnosed with a lower-back stress fracture earlier in the week. Despite leading the team with 64 home runs since the start of the 2014 season, Duda was struggling to reach base safely at the start of the ’16 campaign. He was batting just .231 with a .297 on-base percentage this year — well down from his .352 mark last season.

“It will be a while,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “We’re looking at a fairly long period before he’s going to be able to get back and do some baseball stuff.”

The Amazin’ medical staff may have underestimated just how long Duda would be sidelined for. According to Dr. Stefan Prada, a third-party spine expert from a national healthcare provider, Duda may be on the bench for longer than the expected 4-6 weeks.

Prada is a renowned specialist who’s been quoted on back injuries to David Wright and Tiger Woods. According to the expert, Duda’s injury is more commonly seen in people going through the “growing years” of life — especially in sports that involve hyperextension (such as wrestling, football and gymnastics).

Per Dr. Prada, who has been quoted extensively in the New York media in the past (WFAN especially), if Duda had a desk job, he would be back to work in less than a week. However, since the act of power-hitting is a strenuous ordeal, he may actually be out for longer than the 4-6 week timetable being tossed around.

Prada, a former Navy physician who specializes in minimally invasive techniques that have quicker recovery times than hospitals, is hopeful that the team’s trainers can improve his condition:

Luckily, Duda has a team of trainers that can hopefully speed up his recovery through:

  • Diet – helping bones heal through protein and calcium intake
  • Core training – e.g. stationary bike
  • Bone stimulators – have shown to speed up the healing process via electrical stimulation. For nonprofessional athletes, patients have to have demonstrated a delayed healing process, e.g. a “non union” of bones after eight or so weeks to qualify for treatment, but Duda may be able to expedite that process with the Mets training staff.”

His recovery will need to be imminent or else the team will need to resort to a long-term replacement at first base. As of the present, the Mets don’t have much of a safety net at the position. They don’t possess much organizational depth, and don’t have another natural first-baseman on their 25-man roster.

All info was provided and courtesy of the office of Stefan Prada, M.D.

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Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.