What began as a relatively mild oblique strain for Angel Pagan might have developed into something more after the Mets announced Friday that he had returned to New York for another exam and will not be activated Saturday as previously scheduled.

Pagan, who had been on the disabled list since April 22, played Thursday night for Class A St. Lucie and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Afterward, he complained of "discomfort" in the same left oblique area, and that's when the Mets decided to ship him back to get checked out.

The team announced after Friday's game that an MRI revealed "point tenderness" in the area and Pagan would be shut down from baseball activity until the pain subsides. He likely will head back to Port St. Lucie on Sunday.

"After the game, he felt that he could swing," manager Terry Collins said. "But knowing that we were hoping he would be here [Saturday], he just felt that he wasn't going to be ready for that. He'll be examined, so the decision will be delayed for a while."

The "decision" Collins mentioned was in reference to the roster, with a handful of players potentially on the chopping block to eventually make room for Pagan -- or someone else. The subpar performance of Chin-lung Hu, who is hitting .059 (1-for-17), has put him in jeopardy, but Willie Harris probably isn't far behind.

Depending on the severity, however, Pagan could be out for another two weeks, at least.

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Knuckler for Paulino?

Collins prefers to start Ronny Paulino on Sunday against Dodgers lefthander Clayton Kershaw, but with R.A. Dickey on the mound, he'll need reassurance that won't be a disaster. Paulino has yet to handle Dickey in a game.

"I'll see how comfortable he feels when he comes out of catching in the pen," Collins said.

Chris Cannizzaro, the 10-year-old who met President Obama on Thursday, threw the ceremonial first pitch. Cannizzarolost his firefighter dad, Brian, on 9/11. He was named after the former Mets catcher but is not related to him.