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Mets infielder Wilmer Flores not close to returning

Wilmer Flores of the New York Mets walks

Wilmer Flores of the New York Mets walks off the field after being called out on a collision at the plate against the Atlanta Braves on Sept. 10, 2016. Credit: Getty Images / Kevin Liles

Time could be running out for Wilmer Flores, with manager Terry Collins expressing concern Saturday that the infielder might be lost for the remainder of the season’s homestretch.

“I am worried,” Flores said Saturday, nearly a week removed from receiving a second cortisone shot for the bone bruise in his right wrist.

Flores has not played since injuring his wrist in a plate collision Sept. 10. He since has been limited to cage work, and Collins said he is “not close” to taking batting practice.

“I want to be healthy,” Flores said. “I’m the first guy that wants to be out there helping the team. It’s just frustrating. I want to tough it out, but it’s something that I don’t want to hurt the team and hurt myself by doing that.”

Flores has given the Mets a major threat against lefthanders, against whom he owns a .340 average with 11 homers. Among those with at least 100 plate appearances, his 1.093 OPS against lefties ranks second on the team behind only Yoenis Cespedes.

Syndergaard to face Marlins

Noah Syndergaard, following a bullpen session yesterday, was slated to pitch Tuesday against the Marlins and Bartolo Colon tomorrow, Collins said. The bullpen was Syndergaard’s first since coming down with strep throat that wiped out his scheduled start Friday.

“He feels a lot better today,” Collins said before the game. “He’s got some energy back.”

Matz in bullpen?

Steven Matz’s season likely is finished, though the Mets are holding out hope that the lefty returns in some fashion.

Collins left open the possibility that Matz throws out of the bullpen during the season’s final week, assuming he has no more issues with the left shoulder impingement that has sidelined him since Aug. 14.

However, Collins sounded cool on the idea of using Matz out of the bullpen in the postseason because he would not be available to pitch in back-to-back games. And as a starter, Matz would require more time to warm up for games.

Collins said Matz’s latest shoulder MRI revealed no other issues.

Extra bases

For the first time since returning from the disabled list with a back injury, first baseman Lucas Duda started in consecutive games. He’s expected to be off for Sunday’s series finale though Collins could slot him into the lineup Monday against the Marlins . . . The Mets will get no favors from the Marlins, their NL East rivals. Their ace, Jose Fernandez, was scheduled to start against the Braves Sunday, but instead will be held back a day to face the Mets Monday. In four starts against them this season, he has a 1.08 ERA.— With Brian Heyman


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