Mets starting pitcher Jeremy Hefner might require Tommy John surgery to repair a small tear discovered in a ligament in his right elbow.

"I don't know how serious a possibility but we have not been able to rule that out at this point" general manager Sandy Alderson said before Friday night's game against the Padres.

Hefner is to be examined by doctors Monday. He was placed on the disabled list retroactive to last Saturday after doctors discovered a partial tear of the MCL in his elbow.

Though surgery can't be ruled out it also is possible that Hefner (4-8 4.34 ERA) will return before the season is over. Manager Terry Collins said earlier in the week that he expects Hefner to pitch again this year.