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Michael Conforto’s hand still not healed

Michael Conforto of of the Mets strikes out in

Michael Conforto of of the Mets strikes out in the eighth inning against the  Nationals at Citi Field on Friday, June 16, 2017. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

MIAMI — At first glance, Michael Conforto’s left hand appeared to be OK before Tuesday’s game, or at least significantly better than it felt Sunday after the Mets’ outfielder was drilled by Giants’ starter Matt Moore. The bruising was diminished, the swelling down.

But the improvement wasn’t enough to get Conforto back into the lineup and now it could be a while. After the first round of X-rays in San Francisco came up negative, Conforto had those results confirmed by a second round done Tuesday at Marlins Park along with a doctor’s visit.

“Everything’s fine in there,” Conforto said after the Mets’ 6-3 loss. “No bone breaks. I’ve just got to treat it and get back as soon as possible.”

Terry Collins said Conforto was unavailable for Tuesday’s game because he’s still unable to swing or even grip a bat. That’s a problem, obviously, and the manager was unsure when Conforto would be ready to play again.

“At this particular stage,” Collins said postgame, “we don’t know how long it will be.”

With Conforto still aching, that made a potentially difficult decision for Collins much easier — at least for another day. Conforto’s injury allowed the manager to stay with the streaky Curtis Granderson, who led off Tuesday night’s game with his fourth home run in the first eight games of this road trip. It also was Granderson’ 21st leadoff homer for the Mets, a franchise record.

The Mets certainly would like to showcase this scorching version of Granderson (.333 BA, .468 OPS, 6 HRs in June) over the next few weeks leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The problem with riding Granderson, however, is that he’s 36, a little senior to be running around centerfield on a regular basis, especially the spacious lawn at Marlins Park.

“This is a big field,” Collins said. “We want to be careful not to wear Grandy down in this place.”

Wheels up?

With Zack Wheeler (biceps tendinitis) expected to require another side session in Miami before coming off the disabled list, it appears that Jacob deGrom may be penciled in to start Friday when the Mets return to Citi Field to host the Phillies. Beyond that, the Mets have to asses the severity or Robert Gsellman’s hamstring injury before slotting in Wheeler and deciding on Rafael Montero’s next start.

New York Sports