Chris Mascaro
Monday March 17th, 2014

Jonathon Niese (Zia Nizami/Getty Images) Jonathon Niese went 8-8 with a 3.71 ERA in 24 starts last season. (Zia Nizami/Getty Images)

Jonathon Niese would have been the Mets' Opening Day starter if he was healthy.

But he left his Sunday start with a sore elbow, and even if his MRI in New York on Monday is clean, he'll likely begin the season on the disabled list, a team insider told Adam Rubin of

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The Mets can go with four starters until April 6, when they play the Reds at Citi Field. That would be the day the Mets could activate Niese from the DL, according to the report.

Manager Terry Collins has said Bartolo Colon will start Opening Day if Niese isn't available, but a source told Rubin on Monday the decision is "legitimately unresolved."

Dillon Gee is also an option.

Niese is 43-40 with a 3.99 ERA in 119 games (118 starts) in six seasons with the Mets. SI WIRE: Dodgers OF Carl Crawford will miss Australia trip with baby on way

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