Reyes out at least until Saturday

WASHINGTON -- New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes will remain sidelined at least until Saturday because of an injury to his right side, manager Jerry Manuel said Thursday.

Reyes was scratched from Wednesday's game against the Florida Marlins in San Juan after the right side of his torso bothered him during batting practice. The shortstop remained out of the lineup for Thursday's series opener against the Washington Nationals.

Reyes indicated the injury is similar to the issue that has kept Angel Pagan out of the lineup for most of the past week, but Manuel was optimistic Reyes could return within days because the shortstop quickly stopped activity after initially feeling any discomfort.

Manuel also hoped Pagan could return to the lineup Saturday as well, when the Mets face Nats rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg.

"It's still a little bit sore," Reyes said Thursday. "I'm going to take another day off and see how I feel after treatment."

Said Manuel: "I think we caught it at the right time. I think with Angel, he tried to play through it a little bit, and I think it might have cost him a couple of days here or there."

Reyes indicated the lesson from last season is that he needs to be cautious with injuries. Initially diagnosed with a mild right hamstring tendon tear in mid-May of 2009, Reyes had continued false starts, rushing back into the lineup, and eventually needed to be shut down for the year.

"I don't want to miss any games, but it is what it is," Reyes said. "I have to take care of this, because I know what happened to me last year. I tried to be in the lineup with a leg problem, and you guys know what happened. I have to be careful with this."

Rookie Ruben Tejada was due to start at shortstop for a second straight game Thursday. Reyes offered a hearty endorsement of his understudy, who had been called up from Triple-A Buffalo to play second base when Luis Castillo landed on the disabled list on June 4.

"He played a lot in spring training at that position," Reyes said about Tejada at shortstop. "He's a natural shortstop. I know for sure he's not going to have any problem at that position because that's his natural position."

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

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