ESPN reports Wheeler will likely need to undergo Tommy John surgery.
Wheeler had experienced elbow discomfort last week and was scratched from a scheduled spring training start this weekend. He had an MRI exam Saturday in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
On a conference call, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Wheeler had a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection in November before having another MRI in January. Because of the ongoing problems with Wheeler's elbow, Alderson said the torn ligament was "not totally unexpected."
The 24-year-old Wheeler went 11-11 with a 3.54 ERA and 187 strikeouts in 32 starts last season for New York.
Wheeler is the second Mets pitcher this week to sustain an elbow injury. Reliever Josh Edgin will miss the entire season after deciding to undergo Tommy John surgery.
Mets ace Matt Harvey is expected to be ready for the season after missing most of the last 18 months after having Tommy John surgery to repair a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
- Scooby Axson