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Duda could be activated off DL on Monday

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

WASHINGTON -- Lucas Duda told Mets officials he felt "just about 100 percent" after going 1-for-3 in his rehab debut Friday night for Class A St. Lucie, according to general manager Sandy Alderson, furthering the team's optimism that he can come off the disabled list when eligible on Monday.

The Mets want to see Duda amass significant at-bats this weekend, and they could still push his timetable back a day or two. But if Duda does not return Monday from the hyperextended left elbow that has sidelined him since April 19, he should do so shortly thereafter.

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WASHINGTON -- Lucas Duda told Mets officials he felt "just about 100 percent" after going 1-for-3 in his rehab debut Friday night for Class A St. Lucie, according to general manager Sandy Alderson, furthering the team's optimism that he can come off the disabled list when eligible on Monday.

The Mets want to see Duda amass significant at-bats this weekend, and they could still push his timetable back a day or two. But if Duda does not return Monday from the hyperextended left elbow that has sidelined him since April 19, he should do so shortly thereafter.

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Considering all their other injured players, the Mets could use him. With Yoenis Cespedes nursing a strained left hamstring, Jay Bruce slid from first base back to the outfield for Friday's series opener in Washington. That opened a hole at first, where T.J. Rivera started his second straight game on Saturday. Rivera should continue to start at first base until Duda returns.

Part of the issue is that backup first baseman Wilmer Flores has also been on the DL since April 20 due to a right knee infection. The Mets expect Flores to begin a Minor League rehab assignment either Saturday or Sunday, making his return within the next week a distinct possibility.

Pitchers progressing: Starters Steven Matz and Seth Lugo, who are both nursing elbow injuries, are scheduled to throw from the slope of a mound for the first time on Saturday. Alderson said the Mets are targeting a late May return for both pitchers. Their progress has dampened the team's desire to look outside the organization for starting pitching depth.

On the mend: An ultrasound "didn't reveal any significant damage" to Cespedes' left hamstring, according to Alderson, who classified the injury as a mild strain.

"But a non-serious hamstring strain can keep somebody out for a while," Alderson said.

The Mets hope Cespedes can come off the DL shortly after he is eligible on May 8.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

New York Mets, Lucas Duda