Jose Reyes would like to rush back to the Mets' lineup. He'd like to return to his pursuit of a batting title. He'd like to squash the questions about his injury history with free agency looming. But for now, he is exercising caution.
After the Mets announced Wednesday that Reyes seemed ahead of where the team believed he would be with his strained left hamstring, setting up a test Friday to run and see if he could return Tuesday, Reyes dimmed the hopes that he'd be back when he is eligible to come off the disabled list that day.
"I don't know about that," Reyes said. "I need to run the bases first before I decide when I'm going to play. I've been running the past three days, I feel very good. I'm not running 100 percent yet, but it's getting there."
Reyes thought he was careful on his first trip to the disabled list July 2. But he was back on the list less than a month after he returned.
. "My confidence running-wise wasn't there," Reyes said. "Every time you have a problem with a hamstring, you're not going to have your confidence right away. It's going to take some time to put it out of your mind.
"Like I said, it is what it is. That one is in the past, and I'm doing everything I can to be on the field. When you have a hamstring problem, until you get on the field and play in a real game, you worry about it. The more you play the more comfortable you're going to be. Injuries are part of the game, and I just need to continue to work."
Reyes is fighting the perception that he is injury-prone, the one criticism hindering his potential negotiations as a free agent. But he said he is not thinking about that, a contention he has maintained all season long.
"I don't worry about my contract right now," he said. "My concern right now is to be on the field. I don't worry about the contract. If I'm injured I can't be on the field, so I just need to be healthy and continue to play baseball."
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