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Friday, August 19, 2011

Tuesday return for Jose Reyes remains a long shot, not running at full throttle

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN NY,  Jose Reyes has resumed running on his strained left hamstring, but the activity has only been straight ahead and not at full throttle.

So Terry Collins labeled it a “stretch” to expect Reyes to be activated Tuesday from the disabled list when he is eligible. Reyes agreed.

“I don’t know about that,” Reyes said in reference to Tuesday. “I need to run the bases first before I decide when I’m going to play. I’ve been running the last few days, so I feel very good. I’m not running 100 percent, but it’s getting there.”

Reyes also has been taking groundballs, throwing to first base and hitting. Running the bases may wait a few days.

Reyes left an Aug. 2 game against the Braves and then landed on the DL. He said he actually felt the hamstring tightness in a game a day earlier, when he stole two bases.

“That’s kind of the first day coming back that I put a lot of stress on my leg running-wise,” Reyes said.

Reyes had returned July 19 from a 16-day absence for a previous left hamstring strain. He had only attempted three steals in 16 starts until the two-steal game.

“My confidence running-wise wasn’t there,” Reyes said. “Anytime you have a problem with your hamstring, you don’t get your confidence back right away. It’s going to take some time to put it out of your mind.”

Collins after the last injury had spoken about strategically resting Reyes, but Reyes inevitably talked his way into lineups, saying he felt fine. This time, the Mets resolve to be more cautious, although Reyes may not yet be sold.

“We’ll see how I’m feeling,” Reyes said about strategic days off. “It just depends how I’m feeling. When I’m on the field, I like to play every day.”

Asked to compare this left hamstring strain with the one from last month, Reyes said: “It’s about the same. The last one, by this time, that’s when I started running. And I’m running right now. I just need a couple of days more running and then go to the bases and see what happens.”

He added that none of his motivation for returning stems from being a free agent next offseason and needing to prove something.

“I don’t worry about my contract right now,” Reyes said. “I just want to be on the field healthy.”

Reyes also enters the weekend leading the National League in batting average at .336, seven points ahead of runner-up Ryan Braun, who is at Citi Field this weekend with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Mets have never had a batting champion.

“Right now I have one thing on my mind -- getting healthy and getting on the field,” Reyes said.

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