Conforto said Tuesday that he has progressed from September surgery on his left shoulder about as quickly as the Mets could have hoped and plans to make his Grapefruit League debut next week, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports.

At the time of Conforto's surgery, general manager Sandy Alderson said that the outfielder would require about six months to recover, with the Mets later pushing back his estimated return date to May 1. Conforto was able to resume playing catch in mid-February before gradually adding batting practice and outfield drills to his ledger in recent weeks, providing renewed hope that he'll be back in action for the Mets at some point during the season's first month. If Conforto does in fact return to the Grapefruit League lineup next week, he would likely be limited to DH duties initially. Since he won't be able to get in enough at-bats over the rest of the spring to be an Opening Day option, Conforto is still expected to begin the season the 10-day disabled list and continue his rehab at extended spring training or a minor-league affiliate. Once activated from the DL following what will likely be a multi-game rehab assignment, Conforto could immediately settle back into the role he filled last season as the Mets' leadoff man.

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