Cuddyer eyes Friday return from disabled list

Cuddyer eyes Friday return from disabled list

MIAMI -- Mets manager Terry Collins won't commit to anything until he travels to Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Thursday to see Michael Cuddyer in person. But Cuddyer is confident enough in his recovery from a knee injury to expect a Friday return from the disabled list.

Cuddyer told the St. Lucie News that he anticipates being active Friday for the start of a three-game series against the Rays in St. Petersburg. That would allow him to ease back into game action, serving as designated hitter for most, if not all, of that series, before returning to left field on a regular basis.

Cuddyer, 36, has been on the DL since July 22 due to left knee inflammation, and he will first be eligible to come off Friday. Collins plans to drive up to St. Lucie on Thursday night in part to watch Cuddyer work out and determine his readiness. The outfielder was batting .250 with eight home runs in 82 games prior to landing on the DL, playing most of July despite soreness in the knee.

When Cuddyer does return, it will likely force the Mets to send No. 2 prospect Michael Conforto back to the Minors, due to a lack of available playing time at the big league level.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.