PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- A few injury updates on this quiet Sunday morning:
-- Second baseman Daniel Murphy [strained intercostal] has been cleared to be a full participant in a minor-league game today. It will be his first game action since March 15, when he took the field and ran the bases but did not hit. He emerged from the game with stiffness in his side, a setback that cost him little more than a week.
"The last time he played in a minor league game he rushed it and he took a huge step backwards," manager Terry Collins said on Saturday. "I will be the first guy in the morning to make sure that he does not overdo it [Sunday]."
Even if he makes rapid progress, Murphy is still most likely to begin the season on the disabled list. He has yet to see major league pitching this spring and little time remains in camp. Also, if Murphy doesn't play in any Grapefruit League games, the Mets have the option of backdating his stint on the disabled list to March 22. Under that scenario, he'd be eligible to come off the DL on April 6.
-- Outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis [left knee bone bruise] will start Sunday's split-squad game against the Tigers. It will be his first start since suffering his injury on March 3. Nieuwenhuis had been in the mix for a spot in the outfield. But after the injury wiped out most of his March, he will likely begin the season at Triple-A Las Vegas.
"It's really good to be back," said Nieuwenhuis, who struck out in a pinch-hit appearance on Saturday. "I'm really excited to be back out there again and healthy."