Beltran says he's ready . . . and waiting

Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran during a rehab appearance

Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran during a rehab appearance with the Brooklyn Cyclones. (Credit: Joe Epstein)

For the second consecutive day, Carlos Beltran asserted to all who asked that he is 100 percent healthy and ready to play on a major-league field. And for the second straight day, he shrugged when asked when he'll be back in uniform for the Mets.

"I feel good, thank God," Beltran said after his 1-for-5 performance with the Brooklyn Cyclones - the Mets' short-season Class A affiliate - in what so far has been a three-game rehab assignment. "I played nine today, I played nine yesterday and I played seven the game before that . . . I'm good to go."

Even so, there's no word yet from anyone in the front office, he said, though it's possible he will return to the lineup as soon as this week.

"I'm hopeful to be there Tuesday," he said. "It's been a long time that I've been out hurt . . . I'm looking forward to be out [there]."

Beltran landed on the disabled list in late June with a deep bone bruise in his right knee, but there was little sign of discomfort as he played the entire game in centerfield. Manager Pedro Lopez went as far as to employ him in a hit-and-run in the third inning. Beltran eventually scored the second run in a 4-2 loss to the Lowell Spinners later in the inning.

"I'm not thinking right now about compensating [for the knee]," he said about the play. "I'm out there and I'm trying to give everything I have."

But despite his eagerness to return to action, Beltran looked rusty at the plate in his five at-bats and had difficulty with his timing against off-speed pitches. The result: three swinging third strikes. He also popped up to short with runners on first and third for the final out of the game, ending a Cyclones rally.

"I'm all right," Beltran said. "But it's been two months and a half out. I don't expect to be great out there. It's going to take time."

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