HOUSTON -- Wilmer Flores still wore a hospital band on his right wrist on Sunday morning, his nose swollen and affecting his speech. But the Mets believe he avoided the worst after fouling a ball off his face on Saturday, giving them hope that he can return to their lineup as soon as Tuesday at Citi Field.
Flores will see an ear, nose and throat specialist in Manhattan that morning to confirm that he sustained nothing more serious than a broken nose. For now he is taking antibiotics to ward off infection.
"I'm feeling a lot better than I thought," Flores said. "It was a very scary moment."
Facing Brad Peacock in the fourth inning of Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Astros, Flores fouled a ball directly up and into his face, knocking him to the ground in pain. As Flores knelt in the dirt around home plate talking to trainer Ray Ramirez, he feared the ball had knocked out some teeth. His entire face was numb.
"The first thing I asked Ray was, 'Is my nose OK?' Because I didn't feel it," Flores said. "What I felt, it was nothing good."
Flores had reason to worry. In July, Houston infielder Colin Moran fouled a ball off his face in a similar play, sustaining a facial fracture that required surgery. He still has not returned to the Astros.
Flores, who is batting .271 with 18 home runs and a .795 OPS in 110 games, appears to have avoided a similar fate.
"Obviously, he's real sore," manager Terry Collins said. "He looks better today than he did yesterday. It's still pretty swelled up. We'll know more after he gets seen by the guy in New York."