At the end of spring training, Carlos Beltran said he wanted to begin running exercises in Port St. Lucie on April 10, and rejoin the Mets by at least early May, but after three weeks of Beltran’s self-imposed deadline he is still not close to returning.
According to the New York Daily News Beltran was fitted for a custom knee brace last week in which he hoped would help accelerate his rehabilitation. That occurred during an April 20 visit to the Steadman-Hawkins clinic in Vail, Colorado where the center fielder underwent knee surgery in January.
The Vail visit was more significant for what Beltran did not get: his medical clearance to begin running. In fact, the Mets have said many times as of late they did not know when Beltran would take that important next step. While April 10 was never a hard deadline, April 29 and counting is surely a disappointment for the team that seems to be having success without him.
Beltran’s stubborn agent, Scott Boras, has not responded to multiple requests for comment about the outfielder’s status. Boras negotiated a seven-year, $119 million contract for Beltran in January of 2005 and the deal expires after next season.
It’s pretty much a crapshoot to try and pinpoint a possible return for Beltran, however a June return now seems likely as opposed to May. It is still not clear whether Beltran is considering further surgery that could threaten his season.
Obviously, Beltran’s return is still paramount to the offense despite the recent success without him. But for now, expect more games from Angel Pagan and hopefully few if any from GMJ.