Speaking to children at Coleman Country Day Camp in Merrick, N.Y., on Long Island, on Tuesday, Davis candidly described his left ankle as "not good."
"But next year I will be back and healthy," Davis told the campers. "I promise."
When told of Davis' comments, manager Terry Collins said he was not resigned to the first baseman missing the remainder of the season, but he added, "I'm surprised he would say something like that."
Davis later told reporters, "I'm not throwing in the towel. In three weeks if I'm not healthy, I'm not playing this year."
Davis injured the ankle in a collision with third baseman David Wright by the pitcher's mound at Coors Field in Denver on May 10 and has not returned to the lineup because of lingering discomfort when he attempts to run.
He received a cortisone shot last week as a last-ditch effort to avoid season-ending surgery. If the ankle is "not feeling a lot better" when Davis attempts to run again in two and a half weeks, he will have surgery. Davis plans to return home to Phoenix when the Mets complete their homestand on Thursday.
Davis indicated the surgery must be performed within three weeks or it could affect his availability for next season. The microfracture procedure involves making tiny holes to increase blood flow and allow cartilage to regenerate.
Doctors advised Davis to wait the additional few weeks before committing to surgery because this injury can conceivably take as long as 12 weeks to heal.
"We've got to give it the full 12 just to say we did everything," Davis said.
While Davis expressed resignation surgery is likely necessary, he realizes returning this season probably would be an uphill battle anyway because of the amount of time he has missed. It already would be August by the time Davis started baseball workouts from scratch.
"I've been out for so long, I need another spring training," Davis said. "I mean, I haven't done really leg workouts in a while. I'd have to have another month of just playing again and practicing to be at a level that would help the team. The best-case scenario, I get a couple of weeks in, or a month (this season). But I would say the majority odds are I probably wouldn't play this year. ... Obviously there's a possibility that I don't need surgery. We just need it to heal. And if it doesn't heal, we have to do something to make it heal."
Davis said his false starts while trying to come back during the past couple of months have him resigned to the surgery being necessary.
"I haven't played in so long, it almost feels like I haven't played this year," he said. "And it's hard to get up for something, because I kept getting up, up, up -- like, 'I'm going to get healthy. I'm going to be playing.' So now if I don't have surgery it's a plus. That's my thought now."
Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.