NL East injury updates: Shaun Marcum, Jonny Venters, Matt den Dekker

USA TODAY Sports

The latest on bumps and bruises affecting teams in the East.

Pain in the Neck for Marcum

New York Mets right-hander Shaun Marcum stopped his bullpen session early on Monday because of stiffness in his neck, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN. The setback likely means that the 31-year-old right-hander will start the season on the disabled list. A shoulder impingement has sidelined Marcum since March 16, so to add a new injury on top of that all but destroys his chances of being ready by Opening Day. The right-hander will undergo more tests Wednesday morning. Southpaw Aaron Laffey is expected to take Marcum's spot in the rotation while he recovers.

Venters Sprains Elbow

Braves left-hander Jonny Venters left Monday's game with a sprain in his throwing elbow, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com. Atlanta's setup man has gone to the disabled list with elbow problems in the past, so this may ultimately be a precursor to Tommy John surgery at some point in the future. For now, however, it's just a sprain. The injury will likely put the Braves' plans to trade Cristian Martinez and Anthony Varvaro on hold, especially with backup setup man Jordan Walden nursing a sore back.

den Dekker Out Two+ Months

More bad news for the Mets, as outfielder Matt den Dekker's broken right wrist will keep him in a cast for six weeks, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN, meaning his chances of making it back to the field by May are slim to none. The outfielder suffered the fracture of his glove-hand wrist while diving for a fly ball in center field on Sunday.

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