Mets likely to get Lagares back for weekend

Mets likely to get Lagares back for weekend

CHICAGO -- Though the muscle strain beneath Juan Lagares' right armpit has already lingered longer than the Mets anticipated, manager Terry Collins expects the center fielder to return to the lineup Friday against the Brewers.

That does not mean Lagares will be in top condition, just that he should be strong enough to give the Mets something resembling his usual effort.

"Will it be 100 percent? Probably not," Collins said. "But it will be a heck of a lot more improved. … I don't know if he'll aggravate it as much as he would have if he dove for a ball today and jarred himself again."

Lagares, 26, injured the area last Tuesday in New York, when his elbow jabbed into his side as he dove to rob the Orioles' Everth Cabrera of a hit. The Gold Glove center fielder played through the injury at first, but the Mets decided to bench him Tuesday and Wednesday with his discomfort still lingering.

Thursday, with regular backup Kirk Nieuwenhuis scuffling, the Mets shifted Curtis Granderson to center, inserting John Mayberry Jr. into right field.

In 32 games this season, Lagares is hitting .276 with one home run and two stolen bases.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.