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Yoenis Cespedes won't set timetable for return from heel injuries

Jeff Wilpon says Mets must operate under the assumption that the slugger won't be available in 2019.

Yoenis Cespedes of the Mets looks on from

Yoenis Cespedes of the Mets looks on from the dugout during the first inning against the Padres at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Yoenis Cespedes was at Citi Field on Sunday to be with the Mets for their final game of the season. He is scheduled for his second heel surgery Oct. 23. When — or if — he will be back in the lineup next season remains in doubt.

When asked if he will have to plan the offseason as if Cespedes will not be available, chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon responded, “I think you probably do have to plan that way, given the fact that it’s uncertain.’’

Cespedes, 32, played in 38 games this season. He hit .262 with nine homers before surgery on his right heel Aug. 2 to address calcification around the Achilles tendon. “In the area where they got in, I still feel pain over there,’’ Cespedes said through his interpreter. “And also in all that area, I feel some numbness, so I can’t say precisely if I’m way better or not.’’

Cespedes, owed $58.5 million through the 2020 season, said the second surgery will be identical to the first.

“Based on what the doctor said is that after the second surgery, I have to spend four months or so [off the heel], no specifics, but then after that, I go start doing baseball activities. But I cannot be running. That will happen a little later than that.’’

Wilpon added: “I don’t think there’s any way to tell how he’s going to react to the second surgery. He’s reacted very well to the first surgery and we’ll see how he reacts to the second one.’’

Cespedes said he cannot set a timetable. “That’s something I think is unpredictable, given what will happen,’’ he said. “I cannot say XYZ amount of games. That’s something I cannot predict so far .  .  . I’m doing my best to get back next season to be with the team. That is what I want next season. I want to be here and help this team.’’

Cespedes had not been seen around the team since his surgery. “I just wanted to be with the team before the season finishes to hang out with them, say hello and also, of course, I wanted to be here for David Wright’s day,’’ he said. “That’s something I wanted to do. That was a big thing for me.’’

What is the best-case scenario for a return date? “Basically I have no idea,’’ Cespedes said. “I’m saying to you guys what the doctor told me, so basically let’s get attached to that.’’

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