Michael Conforto closing in on Mets return having ‘exceeded’ expectations

The Mets are close to getting another key position player back.

The Mets are close to getting another key position player back.

Michael Conforto is expected to be activated soon, despite not being in the lineup for Tuesday’s game against the Braves.

Acting general manager Zach Scott initially said Conforto, who has missed five weeks with a hamstring strain, would be activated, but he ultimately was kept on the IL for undisclosed reasons.

“He’s actually exceeded our expectations, hit all of our objective markers on his strength, his hamstring,” Scott said. “He’s ready to go.”

The Conforto update comes a day after Jeff McNeil came back from his own hamstring strain. Conforto has only played in three rehab games (to McNeil’s five).

Scott said there were no concerns about Conforto’s health, despite the right fielder being held out of the lineup again.

Michael Conforto is returning to the Mets lineup.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“He’s testing at really high strength and we’ve pushed him several times that we’ve really stress tested it and we feel really good about it,” Scott said. “Some guys, you can push them to max sooner. Other guys, we want to do it where we have a program. We want to progress them to hit the certain levels of intensity before they’re cleared to play. Michael just happened to hit them sooner [than McNeil].”

Before he hit the IL, Conforto was batting .230 with two home runs and a 97 OPS-plus in 33 games. His absence, along with center fielder Brandon Nimmo (plus a stretch without Kevin Pillar and Albert Almora Jr.), left the Mets outfield depth depleted last month. But now they are nearly back to full strength, with Nimmo currently on his own rehab assignment with Triple-A Syracuse.

Still, manager Luis Rojas said the Mets would be smart about easing Conforto back into the lineup.

“There is a plan,” Rojas said. “We have our performance staff talk to us and also talking to Michael, laying out what we’re expecting. We just don’t want to throw him in there and probably run him into immediate high workload, coming from a hamstring injury. He’s good, he’s in great shape. But we also don’t want to abuse him.”

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Greg Joyce

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