Francisco Lindor progressing well from oblique injury, but return date remains uncertain
PHILADELPHIA — Francisco Lindor’s recovery from a strained right oblique is going well, he said, but he doesn’t know when he will return.
The front end of the general timetable provided by acting general manager Zack Scott is Saturday, which seems too soon given his recent level of activity. The back end is two weeks after that, Aug. 28.
"I don’t know when I’ll be back," Lindor said Saturday afternoon after his usual basic baseball activities. "I would love to sit here and say, I’ll be back at home. Or I would love to say, I’ll be playing rehab [games] next week. I don’t know. I honestly don’t know."
For now, then, he is limited to fielding soft ground balls, throwing, running and some swinging. That last exercise tends to be a tough one when it comes to oblique injuries. He already has hit balls off a tee. Up next, manager Luis Rojas said, is hitting pitches thrown by a coach. Eventually he’ll face pitchers.
"He still has a lot to do," Rojas said.
One example of progress came Friday: "Live action," getting a feel for batted balls during batting practice, according to the manager.
"He was reacting toward where the ball was hit, as he would do in a game," Rojas said. "He’s testing the oblique, the core on how he can move, how he can rotate and how it works."
Lindor said rehab isn’t boring, but it is sometimes frustrating. Especially at a time when the Mets are playing poorly.
"It sucks. I want to be there. I want to help them out," he said. "We’re not getting the results we want to get. I would love to be with them. I would love to struggle with them. But this is the situation I’m in."
When he returns, Lindor is set to play alongside — on one side or the other — his good friend and new teammate Javier Baez. Baez is filling in at shortstop but will move to third base or second base upon Lindor’s return.
"I love Javy, my brother," Lindor said. "I know he wants to win. That’s all he wants to do. So I’m very excited for the day I come back and turn a lot of double plays with him."
Jacob deGrom left the team to tend to a family matter, Rojas said.
Because he still is shut down with right elbow inflammation, deGrom’s absence doesn’t really change anything with his rehab. The Mets expects him back when they return to New York (for a homestand that starts Tuesday).
A native of the Dominican Republic, Rojas said he was "so proud" of his home country winning the bronze medal in Olympic baseball Saturday. The D.R. beat South Korea, 10-6, to medal in its top sport for the first time.
Rojas managed the Dominican team in an Olympic qualifier tournament in the fall of 2019 — around the time the Mets initially hired Carlos Beltran as manager instead of him — and he has lots of friends involved with the team.
"For the country, it’s huge," he said. "This is the No. 1 game in my country. I know everyone is proud right now. Once they found out that we won the bronze medal, us Dominicans here in this clubhouse were very proud as well."