Jose Reyes to be cautious with strain

Updated: July 5, 2011, 6:07 PM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

LOS ANGELES -- New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes is applying a tough lesson learned two years ago at Dodger Stadium to his current hamstring injury.

Reyes acknowledged coming back too soon from a hamstring tendon tear in 2009, during a West Coast trip. The rapid return made the injury worse, when a more conservative return to the lineup might have provided the injury time to heal and prevented the trouble escalating.

After multiple false starts two seasons ago, Reyes turned a partially torn hamstring tendon into a fully torn hamstring tendon. He then suffered a tear of the hamstring muscle itself. He never reappeared in the majors that season after leaving a game at Dodger Stadium on May 20, 2009.

Saturday, Reyes suffered a Grade 1 left hamstring strain against the Yankees. That is regarded as the least severe type of strain. The All-Star shortstop planned to swing a bat Monday at Dodger Stadium, but did not intend to run until at least before Tuesday's game.

"I don't want to get on the field too soon, because I know what happened in 2009 when I tried to get on the field too soon," Reyes said. "Everybody knows what happened. ... I have to make sure my leg is ready because I don't want to go through what I've been through in '09. I learned from that."

Manager Terry Collins said he communicated to general manager Sandy Alderson that he is willing to play with a 24-man roster for a few days with Reyes unavailable in order to buy time, rather than immediately place Reyes on the disabled list and commit to idling him for 15 days.

"If I get this guy back even for the last few days leading into the All-Star break, I think it's beneficial to the ballclub," Collins said. "If we think he's not going to be available, then we'll have to readdress it as we get into the week. I think our guys have stepped up enough that we'll take a couple of days and see how he is."

Reyes, a free-agent-to-be, was tormented by leg injuries early in his career.

He acknowledged about his current situation: "Every time I feel something in my leg it's scary because I don't want anything to happen to my leg again. What I went through was kind of difficult."

Reyes rallied to beat out Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki in fan voting to serve as the starting shortstop for the National League All-Stars. Reyes said it is too early to know whether he will be able to participate, but he hopes to play. Regardless, Reyes said, he will attend next Tuesday's game in Phoenix.

Reyes was unable to play in the 2006 All-Star Game because of a pinkie injury and then last year because of an oblique issue, but attended both times after being selected for the NL team.

"It's still a couple of days away," Reyes said about the All-Star Game. "So we don't know yet."

Bottom line: The Mets will treat Reyes cautiously.

"As I just told him earlier today, and as I said the other day, to get him for one game tonight or tomorrow and then lose him for three weeks is just stupid," Collins said. "I'm going to watch him run 100 percent before he gets back in there."

Also on the injury front with the Mets, third baseman David Wright, who is working his way back into playing shape from a lower-back stress fracture, will wait until next week to enter official minor league rehab games. Collins previously had floated later this week as a possible date for minor league games. The organization opted to proceed more cautiously with ramping up baseball activities since Wright has largely been idle for six weeks following the discovery of the stress fracture.

"They don't want to push him too hard," Collins said. "... You're talking about a guy that hasn't run in six weeks. We've got to get his legs back underneath him before a lot of stuff takes place."

First baseman Ike Davis will wait until next week to seriously test his left ankle running. Davis is at home in the Phoenix area. If discomfort related to cartilage damage resurfaces when Davis attempts to run, Davis likely will have season-ending surgery.

"Ike is progressing better," Collins said. "Now that he is out of the boot, he actually is getting more flexibility in the ankle, feeling better."

Left-hander Johan Santana again threw off a mound in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Monday. Wright stood in the batter's box and tracked pitches at one point. Alderson had indicated Santana would begin a spring-training-like regimen once he had thrown a pair of mound sessions without discomfort in his surgically repaired left shoulder. Santana had thrown off a mound last Wednesday as well, so that process may be ready to begin.

Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com.

Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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