But on Saturday afternoon, that decision finally came to haunt the shortstop. In the top of the seventh inning, Reyes reaggravated the injury while scooping a Troy Glaus grounder and tossing it to first base.
Following the play, third baseman David Wright noticed that Reyes was grimacing and signaled for manager Jerry Manuel to check him out. Reyes briefly limped around the infield before Manuel ultimately decided to yank him in favor of infielder Ruben Tejada.
"I just decided that the best thing was to take him," Manuel said. "It's nothing specific. It's basically what he's been battling. He's OK, He'll be fine."
However, Reyes will miss Sunday's finale against the Braves and the All-Star Game on Tuesday. It'll be the second time that he's missed the Midsummer Classic due to injury, and he'll be replaced by Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal.
"It's hard because you want to be there and you want to play, but at the same time, you have to understand that when you have an injury you need to take care of it," Reyes said. "I'm still going and I'm going to enjoy everything even if I'm not going to play."
Reyes initially suffered the injury on June 30 in the San Juan series against the Marlins. But after sitting out a few games, the switch-hitter returned to the lineup and strictly limited himself to right-handed at-bats.
But he never regained full strength. Manuel considered benching the shortstop for the Atlanta series, but Reyes wouldn't allow it. He wanted to spark the Mets against their NL East rivals.
As a precaution, Reyes underwent an MRI on Friday morning, which revealed no structural damage to the oblique. And although he reaggravated the injury in the Mets' 4-0 loss to the Braves on Saturday afternoon, Reyes said he still doesn't regret the decision to play.
"It wasn't a mistake because I felt like I could play, that's why I got on the field," Reyes said. "It felt better today when I came in because I was able to do two rounds of BP for the first time outside. I wanted to stay in the game, but [leaving] was the best."
"Right now, we'll take a few days off and try to get into the second half against San Francisco to see if it gets any better."
Catcher Rod Barajas hopes the extra rest will serve Reyes well. He emphasized the importance of having Reyes at full strength going into the second half of the season.
"He wants to help the team, but when it starts affecting your play and performance you prefer to see somebody heal and put themselves in the best situation to succeed," Barajas said. "If him coming out is what he needs to rest, so be it. I prefer to have a healthy Jose Reyes, than a guy who's not at full strength and is not in the situation to succeed as he would be if he were healthy."
Didier Morais is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.