Reyes on track for Saturday return

Jose Reyes made what is expected to be his final rehab appearance with the Class A St. Lucie Mets in their Florida State League opener Thursday night.

He went 0-for-4 with an RBI in a 7-2 loss at Jupiter. Reyes had three groundouts and a popout. He played all eight innings at shortstop.

Reyes is on target to be activated for Saturday's game against the Washington Nationals.

"If he gets through that with no issue, no setbacks, it's likely he will play Saturday," manager Jerry Manuel said.

A Mets spokesman has confirmed that Reyes will be at Citi Field on Friday, in anticipation of Saturday's activation. Reyes hasn't appeared in a major league game since last May 20 at Dodger Stadium.

"It's a big lift both on the field and in the clubhouse," teammate David Wright said. "He brings a lot of energy. He brings a lot of excitement and enthusiasm to this team. That starts in the clubhouse. It's going to be good to see him tomorrow. Obviously, we want him on the field as soon as possible."

Reyes will exclusively bat leadoff when he returns, with the No. 3 concept shelved for now, according to the manager. There should be no restrictions on his playing time, either, especially with an off day on Monday before a series in Denver against the Colorado Rockies.

Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.