Max Scherzer
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Mets right-hander Max Scherzer is headed to the injured list again. Scherzer exited his most recent start against his former team, the Nationals, last Saturday with left side fatigue.

Manager Buck Showalter expects Scherzer to return to the team when eligible, saying he wants his ailment to be “completely healed.” Showalter only expects Scherzer to miss a start or two.

“It’s actually pretty good news, all things considered, that there wasn’t something torn or where he had it last time,” the veteran skipper told the media Wednesday. “I think the idea is to get it resolved so he can finish the season strong and be ready for whatever the season holds for us.”

Scherzer ended up on the injured list earlier this year with an oblique strain that birthed a 48-day window between starts. He’s made a dozen starts since that injury.

Despite Scherzer’s potentially swift return, this IL placement comes at a very inopportune time for a Mets team whose National League East lead has vanished. No thanks to three straight losses (two to the Nationals, one to the Pirates) and the Braves’ continued second-half success, the two teams are tied atop the division. With 26 games to play (three of them against one another), both ballclubs are 85-51.

A tight race shall ensue, and the Mets unfortunately won’t be at full strength for at least part of the final stretch. Expect the Mets to possibly rely on lefty David Peterson in the (hopefully brief) interim. Peterson has pitched to a 3.32 ERA and 1.305 WHIP across 21 appearances (17 starts). He allowed eight hits and three earned runs in a win over the Nationals last Friday — the Mets’ most recent victory.

More on ESNY:
A good sign for Mike Francesa’s new podcast venture
NY sports reporter reported dead (and eulogized during Yankees game) is still alive
Craig Carton’s FS1 show has debuted. Some quick thoughts
5 big New York sports talk storylines as fall battle begins
Nets’ best-case scenario: From nightmare to championship dream

Follow ESNY on Twitter @elitesportsny.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.