MILWAUKEE -- The injury-riddled New York Mets got some good news Tuesday when a second examination of All-Star center fielder Carlos Beltran's bruised right knee also indicated surgery is not required.
The opinion from Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colo., was the same as the Mets' medical staff. Beltran likely will be out through the All-Star break while waiting for the bruise to subside. He will be re-evaluated later this week and rest until he is pain free.
"Yesterday, we had a lot of questions as to whether there was something new or something else in there and the word we got from the second opinion was that, no it was pretty much what we knew it was," assistant general manager John Ricco said before New York's game at Milwaukee on Tuesday night. "Now it's just a matter of how quickly he's able to heal."
The Mets have been decimated by substantial injuries to Beltran, Carlos Delgado (hip surgery), Jose Reyes (calf, hamstring), Oliver Perez (right knee), John Maine (right shoulder) and J.J. Putz (right elbow).
Ricco said Reyes was traveling to the team's facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Tuesday to ramp up his workouts. Reyes has been on the DL for nearly six weeks after suffering a setback earlier in June.
"He's had some good days, so yes, we're optimistic in the fact that he has now gone down there where he can do some baseball activity," Ricco said. "That's a good sign and hopefully we'll keep having positive days and see him soon."
Ricco said they hadn't decided whether Reyes would play in any rehab games, and they hope he will return at or just after the All-Star break.
Perez is starting at Triple-A Buffalo later this week on a rehab assignment, and Ricco said Delgado remains on track to return by August.
"We just want to survive and then hope we've got reinforcements. We have a lot of things now that we think we can look forward to," manager Jerry Manuel said. "The real key is that we survive and that they have no setbacks, then we will be getting somewhere."
New York fell 6-3 to Milwaukee for its fifth straight loss on Tuesday night, dropping two games below .500 (37-39) for the first time since May 4. The injuries have hindered the Mets somewhat in the trade market.
"Clarity certainly would help, but we're being aggressive," Ricco said. "We have plenty of holes to fill."
Beltran, a Gold Glove center fielder, had been playing through pain for some time before going on the 15-day disabled list June 22. He was hitting .336 with eight homers, 20 doubles, 40 RBIs and 11 stolen bases.
Steadman is noted for his work performing microfracture knee surgery on basketball players.
"Right now there's no mention of surgery at all. Both doctors agree it's a bruise. Rest, and that should take care of it," Ricco said. "It's probably looking like the All-Star break, we had hoped maybe he'd be back before that right now.
"It looks like we're headed toward afterward, but again, I don't want to make any judgment at this time because hopefully he goes through this next evaluation [and] starts to feel a lot better."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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