WASHINGTON - Mets first baseman Ike Davis likely will miss the remainder of the season after straining his right oblique in Saturday night's 11-3 victory over the Nationals.

"It's horrible,'' said Davis, whose confidence had been on the upswing as he regained his form since his demotion to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Davis injured himself in the third inning while hitting a sacrifice fly. Only four weeks remain in the season, and he likely will need three weeks just to resume baseball activities.

"I would doubt we'd see him,'' manager Terry Collins said.

Davis now faces a murky future. The 26-year-old remains under team control, but he made $3.1 million this season and it will cost the Mets at least that much to keep him around.

"I can't control any of that,'' said Davis, who will be sent back to New York for an MRI. "All I can control is trying to get healthy.''

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For two straight seasons, Davis languished out of the starting gate. Last year, he dodged a demotion and roared back to hit 32 homers. This year, he hit .161 before the Mets sent him to Las Vegas.

Davis said he felt tightness in the oblique for most of the last two months, when he took more swings to turn his season around. The work paid off. Since returning on July 5, Davis is hitting .269 with an excellent .435 on-base percentage. On Friday against the Nationals, he hit his fourth homer since his return.

"You have to take into account the entire body of work, as abridged as it might be,'' general manager Sandy Alderson said.

Though he has bounced back, he hasn't hit for power, a glaring deficiency given that he plays first base. If he indeed is done for the season, Davis will end the year hitting .205 with only nine homers and 33 RBIs.

Davis' injury opens the door for Lucas Duda, who struggled earlier this season when the Mets pressed him into action as a leftfielder. Duda replaced Davis Saturday night and will share first-base duties with Josh Satin.