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Saturday, July 17, 2010
Monday now target for Reyes

By Adam Rubin

Jerry Manuel now says Monday’s series opener in Arizona may be the realistic return date for injured Jose Reyes, and that the shortstop’s earliest possible return is Sunday.

The earlier date is still in the consideration set because the switch-hitting Reyes finds it easier to bat from the right side, and the Mets will be facing San Francisco Giants left-hander Jonathan Sanchez that day.

“He was a lot better today,” Manuel said about Reyes after Friday’s 1-0 loss to the Giants. “He took batting practice on the field. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow. I expect and anticipate him to be a little sore from using those muscles. Hopefully either Sunday, maybe more like Monday, he should be ready to go.”

Reyes is suffering from a right oblique issue, and scouts at AT&T Park on Friday appeared in disbelief that the Mets allowed Reyes to take batting practice.

“It was good, better than I expected, but let’s see how I’m going to feel tomorrow,” Reyes said. “They only let me hit today. They didn’t let me take groundballs. Nothing like that.”

Because Reyes has not appeared in a game in a week, if he does ultimately land on the DL, he would be eligible to return to the lineup right when the Mets return home to Citi Field after playing three games in Arizona and four games in Los Angeles.

“We don’t talk about that yet,” Reyes said about the DL. “Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”