Another positive development for Michael Conforto: The Mets outfielder was set to leave Port St. Lucie for New York on Sunday, a sign that his return from September shoulder surgery is near.
Conforto is eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list Thursday, when the Mets will begin a series against the Nationals. Mickey Callaway said it is possible they will activate him then.
The plan is for Conforto to face lefthander Jason Vargas in a simulated game Monday and work out with the team the next few days. “We’ll get him some really good BP going,” Callaway said. “[Hitting coach] Pat Roessler will get some eyes on him, make sure he’s ready to go when the time comes.”
It’s not clear when “the time” will come, but signs point to Thursday. Minor-league spring training ended Sunday. The Mets chose to have Conforto rejoin the big-league team instead of traveling with a minor-league affiliate for a rehab assignment that would have cost him several extra days.
Anthony Swarzak (sore left oblique) will have an MRI on Monday. Neither he nor Callaway knew how long he’ll be out or how serious the issue is.
“It’s frustrating to be kept off the mound by an oblique injury that — from everything I’m reading and everything I’m told — is kind of a fluke thing,” the righthander said. “There’s no way to avoid it. So it’s frustrating, but it’s early in the year, we’ve got a winning record and that’s what matters.”
Brandon Nimmo was unavailable after being scratched from the lineup with flu symptoms. Callaway said Nimmo was rehydrating after being up sick much of the night, but ultimately was sent home to rest.
Vargas (broken right hand) will throw a simulated game Monday at Citi Field, Callaway said. “We’ll see how he’s feeling,” he said. “If he can go up and down four times, we’ll get him up and down four times.”
First baseman Dominic Smith (strained right quadriceps) was set to travel to Las Vegas with the Triple-A team Sunday.