Conforto expects to be activated Saturday

July 7th, 2017

ST. LOUIS -- Mets outfielder woke up Friday morning unsure how his left hand would feel after experiencing some discomfort in his Class A rehab game on Thursday night.

But the 24-year-old All-Star felt great and he's ready for the next step in his return from the bruised hand that landed him on the 10-day disabled list on June 28. After hitting before Friday's game at Busch Stadium, Conforto expects to be ready to return on Saturday when he's eligible to come off the DL.

"The one spot was kind of toward the back of the hand," he said. "I didn't feel it today. I think it was something I had to work through, maybe, just some tightness that had to be worked out. I woke up this morning wondering if I was going to be sore or not and I felt great. I told [head trainer Ray Ramirez] and Chicky [assistant trainer Brian Chicklo] I felt great this morning, so we decided we were going to hit and hitting felt good."

Conforto played nine innings for St. Lucie on Thursday, going 3-for-4 with two singles, one double, one RBI and one run scored. But late in the contest, he felt something in the hand that gave him reason for concern.

"I felt good most of the game," Conforto said. "I took a lot of swings yesterday. In between the fourth and fifth at-bat, there was a long period of time where it kind of cooled off, I guess. So I think it just stiffened up a little bit. I went and hit right now, and it feels really good."

Friday's hitting session in the cages, which was to be followed by on-field batting practice, was a big part of whether or not Conforto was going to be feel like he could return to action this weekend, he said. The outfielder was able to hit, without pain, which was another positive step forward.

"A good night last night," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Said he felt it a little bit late in the game, but nothing that he couldn't swing with, couldn't play with. We'll certainly try to get him in there this weekend."

Collins said he expected Conforto to return from the DL on Saturday, but he wouldn't say whether or not the outfielder would be in the starting lineup.