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Conforto, who hopes to be cleared by MLB this weekend, recalls concussion: 'It was strange'

Mets rightfielder Michael Conforto, center, speaks with manager

Mets rightfielder Michael Conforto, center, speaks with manager Mickey Callaway, left, and a member of the Mets staff after colliding with second baseman Robinson Cano as they failed to catch a fly ball on Thursday, May 16, 2019, in Washington.  Credit: AP/Patrick Semansky

The 10 seconds after his jaw smacked into Robinson Cano’s shoulder don’t exist for Michael Conforto. Other than that, the Mets outfielder said Friday that he feels 100 percent recovered from the concussion he suffered last week — the one that left him visibly dazed and stumbling shortly after impact.

Conforto, who was eligible to come off the injured list on Friday, has resumed full baseball activities but first must be cleared by Major League Baseball — something he and the Mets hope will happen this weekend.

“Really, it was strange — I had a headache that night, but I woke up the next day feeling fine,” Conforto said of the May 16 collision, which occurred in shallow rightfield as he and Cano chased a fly ball. “I think I was lucky. I was definitely lucky to not have terrible symptoms and be able to check off all those boxes along the way. The training staff and the doctors have been very, very meticulous — very careful with me.”

Conforto was tasked with sleeping 13 or 14 hours a day and went through a battery of tests, he said. The only memory lapse was the moment immediately after the collision occurred. Conforto said it was his first official concussion but that he “had [his] bell rung” a few times while playing high school football. It’s also the first time he has been knocked out.

“I remember everything leading up to it and I didn’t realize at first that I had been knocked out,” he said. “I was dizzy getting up, but afterward I watched the video and there was 10 seconds probably that I didn’t have.”

After the play ended, Cano doubled back to tend to Conforto and steadied him.

“This injury is different because I didn’t hurt my shoulder, I didn’t hurt anything on my body. It’s obviously just the brain,” Conforto said before pausing to chuckle. “Just the brain, ha — but I’ve been symptom-free for five days, six days, something like that. Everything feels fine. In the cage, my swing feels fine . . . I feel ready to go, but we’re going to be smart about it.”

The next steps will be talking to Brodie Van Wagenen, conferring with Mickey Callaway and then waiting for MLB to clear him. When that occurs, he’ll likely be used as soon as possible, Callaway said.

“We need a lefthanded outfielder,” he said. “He’ll probably go right back in the lineup . . . I think that’s something that’s feasible.”   

Vargas to start Saturday

Though Jason Vargas has yet to come off the injured list, Callaway confirmed that barring something unforeseen, he will get the start on Saturday. Vargas missed three weeks with a hamstring injury and has a 5.92 ERA in 24 1⁄3 innings this year.

New York Sports