NEW YORK -- During the early innings of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was hurting so badly that he could not lift his left arm. He could not swing a bat without pain, so Cespedes simply stopped attempting to swing.
But the Mets' cleanup hitter is on the mend with plenty of time left before the World Series. Cespedes received a cortisone injection in his shoulder on Friday, with an eye toward participating in a mandatory Mets workout Saturday at Citi Field. Like most Mets players, Cespedes skipped Friday's voluntary gathering at Citi.
"He struck out taking a called third strike because he didn't know if he could swing," Mets manager Terry Collins said, referring to Cespedes' final plate appearance in Game 4. "He came right off and he told [trainer] Ray [Ramirez], 'Listen, my shoulder's hurt, I don't know if I can swing.' Ray said, 'Well, can you lift your shoulder?' And he couldn't. But we've got it looked at, we've got it taken care of. The doctors, they said, 'Hey look, he'll be OK.' So [Saturday], we'll find out."
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Though Friday's workout was casual, the Mets expect to ramp things back up to full speed Saturday. That includes Cespedes, who will attempt to take batting practice with his teammates. Because the World Series does not start until Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET air time on FOX, 8 p.m. game time), the Mets are not particularly concerned about his injury.
Nor was Collins upset about the fact that Cespedes played golf on the morning of Game 4. The manager reiterated what Cespedes said after injuring his shoulder, that daily rounds of golf have long been his routine.
"The cause does not mean anything when there's an injury," Collins said. "What caused the injury? Who cares? He's hurt. So I didn't ask him what it was.
"He didn't do it playing golf. He didn't have a bad sand shot or didn't get stuck in the side of the bunker, where it hurt him. He plays golf every day almost, so he's the same guy. It didn't hurt him. He either did it on a swing or did it on a check-swing or something else. Either way, he did it."
Cespedes, who led the Mets into the postseason with 17 homers over a 31-game span from August through September, has struck out 11 times in 35 postseason plate appearances. But three of his nine hits have gone for extra bases, including two home runs.
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.