Mets ace deGrom to have MRI on ailing back

New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom will undergo an MRI to evaluate back stiffness that bothered him during an intrasquad game, manager Luis Rojas confirmed Wednesday.

The 32-year-old deGrom is listed as day-to-day, pending test results, Rojas said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, deGrom gave up a single and a walk in just one inning at Citi Field before being lifted for Justin Wilson.

The reigning back-to-back National League Cy Young Award winner, deGrom will be crucial if the Mets are to advance to the playoffs in the shortened MLB season. Left-hander Noah Syndergaard is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in the spring.

New York is counting on deGrom to anchor a rotation that also consists of Steven Matz, Rick Porcello, Marcus Stroman and Michael Wacha

Last season, deGrom led the National League with 255 strikeouts and posted an 11-8 record with a 2.43 ERA in 32 starts. He has thrown more than 200 innings in each of the past three seasons.

He is scheduled to start the season opener at Citi Field on July 24 against the Atlanta Braves.