TRENTON - Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud's return from the 15-day disabled list appears to be near.
D'Arnaud, who suffered a sprained left elbow when he attempted to tag Atlanta's A.J. Pierzynski on June 20, went 1-for-3 in his first rehab game with Double-A Binghamton Saturday night against the Trenton Thunder.
D'Arnaud caught five innings, as designed by Mets rehab coordinator Jon Debus. Binghamton manager Pedro Lopez said the plan is to DH d'Arnaud for nine innings Sunday, then have him catch seven Monday and, if he's up for it, nine on Tuesday.
"It's up to Travis right now," said Lopez, who added that d'Arnaud looked good even in at-bats that ended in a groundout and popout.
Batting second, d'Arnaud singled up the middle in the first inning.
"It felt great," said d'Arnaud, who punctuated his day in the field by picking off Eddy Rodriguez at first to end the fifth. "It was just nice to hit a ball hard and see it happen again."
At this point, d'Arnaud said he is most concerned with getting his legs back into game shape.
The Mets placed d'Arnaud on the disabled list June 23 when it became clear he needed more than a few days off. They sent him to St. Lucie on Thursday to begin his rehab assignment, but rain postponed Thursday's and Friday's games.
Terry Collins said Thursday that he wants d'Arnaud to play about seven games in the minors before returning to the majors. It was unclear how the rainouts affected that plan.