NEW YORK -- First baseman Lucas Duda took a tangible step forward in his rehab from a back injury on Wednesday, swinging a bat for the first time since landing on the disabled list Aug. 22.
Duda, who is rehabbing from a small thoracic herniation in his back, will not come off the DL when first eligible on Sunday, though he may not require much additional time after that. In any scenario, the Mets have no plans to rush Duda considering their 6 1/2-game NL East lead entering Wednesday's play. Daniel Murphy has been playing first base most days in Duda's absence, with Michael Cuddyer filling in on occasion.
Their best hitter for multiple stretches this season, Duda is batting .247 overall with 21 homers and 28 doubles. He hit a career-high 30 home runs last season.
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.