PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Jose Reyes had enough to worry about as he headed into spring training. But coming off surgery for a torn hamstring tendon, the former All-Star shortstop had survived a long winter of rehab and felt confident for the first time in months that the worst finally was behind him.
Then the FBI showed up.
Reyes said he received a phone call Thursday morning from federal agents who wanted to interview him about his involvement with Dr. Anthony Galea, a Toronto-based doctor under investigation for the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes.
"I was kind of surprised," Reyes said, "and a little scared."
Reyes became ensnared in the FBI's net because of treatment he received from Galea last September. Reyes, hoping to avoid surgery, had traveled to Toronto for three sessions of platelet-rich plasma therapy.
During the treatment, the athlete's blood is removed, spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma and then injected into the injured area to promote healing. Reyes insists that is all he did during his visits with Galea, but during an hour of interrogation, the FBI did ask if the doctor ever treated him with HGH.
"They asked me if he injected me with [HGH] and I said no," Reyes said. "What we do there is basically he took my blood out, put it in some machine, spit it out and put it back into my leg."
By September, the frustrated Reyes had been on the disabled list since May 26 and was willing to try anything legal. Mets general manager Omar Minaya said Sunday that the club's medical staff signed off on his trip to Toronto. Little did they know it would come back to bite them five months later.
Then-teammate Carlos Delgado also consulted Galea about his torn hip labrum, but neither he nor Reyes was able to avoid surgery.
"It helped me a little bit, for a couple days," Reyes said. "But when I tried to run again, it wasn't there. I had the same pain in my leg, so that's why I finally had the surgery."
In addition to Reyes, Galea treated Tiger Woods, U.S. Olympic swimmer Dana Torres, the Broncos' Chris Simms, the Browns' Jamal Lewis and Canadian sprinter Donovan Bailey, who won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics.
An SI.com report suggested that athletes might be subpoenaed for the case against Galea, who is being accused by a former medical assistant, but Reyes said he is not concerned about that.
"I'm not worried because I didn't do anything wrong," Reyes said. "They asked me questions. I was honest with them and told them the truth."
Reyes and the Mets hope that's the end of it. But when federal agents grab at the loose threads of an investigation, as they did with their interview with Reyes last week, it's usually the tip of the iceberg.
Reyes, however, said the agents told him he probably is done with them, and it didn't really cause much of a commotion Sunday at Tradition Field.
As for the lingering cloud of his association with an alleged HGH doctor, it didn't seem to bother Reyes.
"Right now I don't worry because he don't put anything like that in my body," Reyes said. "I know what he was doing with me, so I don't have to worry about that because I know I'm fine. Now it's time to play baseball."