Mets ace Jacob deGrom was well on his way to a third Cy Young last month, but a forearm/elbow injury has sidelined him since July 7. Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, deGrom -- who was shutdown last week after an injury setback -- provided what amounts to bad news, but also contains some hope. 

First off, deGrom said that he felt OK throwing off flat ground, but once he tried to ramp things up on the mound he felt like something was wrong. 

DeGrom further said that he's going to shut down until his next MRI, which is in 10 days (via Britton). If that comes back clean, he'll attempt to work his way back. After being shut down, he'd need weeks in order to get his arm ready for game action, so we're likely talking about Labor Day weekend being something of a realistic goal for deGrom and the Mets. Anything before that would be pretty surprising, given this latest news. Still, deGrom told the reporters that he's confident he'll be back this season. 

DeGrom has had a series of injuries this season, having missed starts on multiple occasions and being removed from games early. 

If deGrom does make it back for the final month, that's obviously a major factor in the NL East race. The Mets lead by 2 1/2 games, but aren't playing well at all right now, having lost four of their last five games. 

DeGrom, 33, is 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA, 0.55 WHIP and 146 strikeouts against 11 walks in 92 innings. Even in missing so many starts, his 4.4 WAR still ranks fifth among NL pitchers. 

The Mets' starting pitching has been a mess with injuries. They activated Carlos Carrasco from the IL over the weekend and traded for Rich Hill, with those two joining Marcus Stroman, Tylor Megill and Taijuan Walker to form the current rotation. Along with deGrom, David Peterson, Noah Syndergaard and Joey Lucchesi are on the injured list.