Ronny Paulino dealing with anemia

Updated: March 31, 2011, 5:07 PM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

MIAMI -- New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said the stomach/colon issue that has sidelined backup catcher Ronny Paulino for a week is related to anemia.

"He was seeing a hematologist this morning. The biopsies that were done came back negative, which is a real positive result," said Alderson, who believed that ruled out cancer. "He saw the gastroenterologist yesterday, and at this point can't exercise. He needs to get his blood count up. I'm not a doctor, but I think that requires two things: No. 1, plugging up the holes; and No. 2 taking medication -- iron and other things.

"Right now we don't know what time frame is involved, but it's going to be more than a week. ... The concern was what was causing it. I think at this point we're comfortable that it's not 'serious squared.' It's a matter of time before the medication works and his blood count is up and he can start exercising again and can get back on the field."

The issue first arose when Paulino, who was delayed arriving in camp by a visa issue related to his MLB suspension, had a physical and his bloodwork was flagged by doctors. He has been idle for about a week.

"It's still going to be a matter of time before we know how well and how quickly the medication is working," Alderson said. "So the next checkpoint with him is probably a week, 10 days, two weeks."

Alderson added that Paulino almost certainly will be placed on the disabled list once the remaining eight games on his MLB suspension are completed, meaning he likely would not be activated until April 24 under the best of circumstances going forward. Alderson even called that an "optimistic timeframe."

Asked if Paulino's potentially extended absence would send the Mets into the market for an upgrade over Mike Nickeas as backup catcher, Alderson said: "We're not in a panic mode by any means. We're comfortable with Nickeas as the backup. We'll know a little bit more about Ronny in the next 10 days or so. But the reality is there's not a lot of catching out there, particularly when teams like Houston lost a frontline guy. ... There have been a couple of guys on waivers, but nothing that has interested us."

Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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