WASHINGTON - Jose Reyes not only has missed the last three games with a strained muscle in his right side, but the injury has not shown any significant improvement, and that has made his return difficult to predict.
Reyes has gradually scaled back his pregame regimen to the point that he was shut down completely Saturday. No batting practice, no infield, nothing. As soon as he arrived, Reyes slipped on shorts and a T-shirt and headed to the trainer's room.
"It's still about the same," Reyes said of the discomfort. When asked if the situation is getting more frustrating, Reyes replied, "It is because I want to be on the field. I don't want to miss any games."
Reyes first suffered the injury during batting practice Wednesday but tried to convince Jerry Manuel to play him anyway. Manuel figured that Reyes would need only that night off before returning to the lineup Thursday. Then it became Friday, then Saturday.
Manuel said Saturday that Reyes will need to miss the weekend entirely, with the hope of starting him Monday against the Reds at Citi Field. The manager insists, however, that the disabled list is not a possibility because Reyes still can contribute off the bench if needed, and he does not expect the injury to linger much further into the week.
Beltran back after break?
The Mets plan to "re-evaluate" Carlos Beltran Sunday after he plays two more games this weekend for Class A St. Lucie. But Manuel suggested that it might be best if the rehabbing centerfielder returns on July 15 when the Mets open the second half at San Francisco.
"I know he's anxious to get back and we're anxious to have him back," Manuel said. "But at the same time, we have to be careful. We'll be somewhat conservative with that. I think realistically, the best time for Carlos will be after the break."