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Conforto takes swings; Vargas stretches out

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- As workers cleared the snow off the grass at Citi Field on Monday, outfielder Michael Conforto ducked inside to take his hacks in a simulated game. Left-hander Jason Vargas, who is also rehabbing from injury, threw from behind an L screen as Conforto swung in an indoor batting cage.

"It's definitely better than Florida," Conforto said. "I know it's cold here and there's snow on the ground, but it's good to be back in New York."

NEW YORK -- As workers cleared the snow off the grass at Citi Field on Monday, outfielder Michael Conforto ducked inside to take his hacks in a simulated game. Left-hander Jason Vargas, who is also rehabbing from injury, threw from behind an L screen as Conforto swung in an indoor batting cage.

"It's definitely better than Florida," Conforto said. "I know it's cold here and there's snow on the ground, but it's good to be back in New York."

Conforto is eligible to return from the disabled list Thursday, and manager Mickey Callaway said it's "possible" he does so at that time. Conforto has not played in a big league game since undergoing surgery last September to repair a torn capsule in his left shoulder. Reporting to Spring Training with a May 1 target return date, Conforto appears certain to beat that by a considerable margin.

Tweet from @Mets: Look who���s back. 👀A little snow won���t stop @mconforto8 from getting his swings in. pic.twitter.com/6onlGIi4Io

Vargas, meanwhile, stretched out to 65 pitches in the batting cage, throwing four simulated innings as he looks to return from surgery to remove a broken bone in his non-throwing hand. He indicated that he will fly back to Florida to stretch all the way out to 90 pitches this weekend, though his ability to do so in a game will depend upon when he has the stitches removed from his glove hand. Vargas has not attempted catching a baseball since surgery.

"I felt a lot stronger than I anticipated," Vargas said of his simulated game. "I'm just looking forward to that next step."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Michael Conforto, Anthony Swarzak, Jason Vargas