NEW YORK -- Justin Turner is likely to return to the Mets for the start of their series against the Braves on Monday, manager Terry Collins said Friday.
Because New York had to use its relievers so much toward the end of the first half, the team wanted to make sure it had a stocked bullpen for this weekend's series against Philadelphia. Collins said the Mets are going to assess where they are pitching-wise at the end of this weekend, and will make a decision from there.
But it's more likely, he said, that Turner, who's been on the disabled list since June 18 with a left intercostal strain, will come back on Monday rather than join the team this weekend.
"We wanted to protect ourselves first coming out of the break," Collins said. "We have run out of pitching so much. We've worn our bullpen down so bad."
Turner's played six rehab games, going 6-for-20 at the plate. He played nine innings at shortstop for Double-A Binghamton on Wednesday night. Collins said he also wants to see Turner get some more at-bats before he's activated from the DL.
While Turner's close to coming back, outfielder Lucas Duda's future isn't as clear. Duda's been on the DL since June 23 with the same injury as Turner. Collins said Friday that Duda is starting to hit, and long-range plans regarding what level he'll play at once he is healthy have not been discussed.
Chris Iseman and David Wilson are associate reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.