<
>

Mets infielders Wilmer Flores, Ruben Tejada shed boots

NEW YORK -- Both backup infielders for the New York Mets have shed their walking boots.

Wilmer Flores had suffered a fractured left ankle while playing winter ball in his native Venezuela, as the result of getting struck with a pitch on Nov. 26. And, of course, Ruben Tejada suffered a high-profile fracture of the fibula in his right leg as the result of a late slide by Chase Utley in the National League Division Series.

Flores is currently working out at the Mike Barwis fitness and conditioning program at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and is scheduled to begin hitting this week.

Tejada has been working out in his native Panama. He may report to Port St. Lucie as early as Feb. 1 -- more than three weeks before the official position-player report date on Feb. 24.

Also on the health front, Zack Wheeler is working out in Port St. Lucie. He has not yet stepped on a mound as he works back from Tommy John surgery, but is scheduled to do so soon. The Mets are targeting June or July for Wheeler's return to the majors.