NEW YORK -- With the Mets' slim playoff hopes already fading, the club was dealt yet another blow in Thursday's 11-4 loss to the Marlins at Citi Field, as shortstop Jose Reyes was forced to exit in the second inning after reaggravating a right oblique strain.
The good news is the injury is considered mild.
"I don't know if he has been 100 percent, but he has played extremely well," manager Jerry Manuel said of his shortstop. "I think today he may have aggravated it to a point where it was really bothersome for him. As of right now, we kind of see it as a day-to-day thing.
"That could change when he comes to the ballpark tomorrow. It depends on how he feels. But that's kind of the way we see it at this point."
The tweak occurred with one out in the second, as Reyes had just snapped out of an 0-for-11 skid with a single to right. Upon reaching first base, the shortstop's discomfort was visible enough to prompt the team's training staff to emerge from the dugout. After a brief conference -- during which Reyes lobbied to stay in the game -- Reyes walked off the field under his own power. For the time being, he's going to refrain from baseball activities until he is pain-free.
How long might that be?
"I hope it's not going to be that long because it feels better than the last time when I did it in Puerto Rico," Reyes said, referencing a June 30 game in San Juan, where he initially suffered the injury during batting practice and subsequently missed a week of action.
The Mets can ill afford to lose their sparkplug for any period of time, not when they're 7 1/2 games out of a playoff spot and needing to leapfrog six teams to have a shot at the National League Wild Card. The team has not won more than two successive games since mid-June and just dropped its second consecutive series at Citi Field, where it had enjoyed a significant home-field advantage for much of the season.
On more than one occasion recently, Mets players -- from Carlos Beltran to David Wright -- have talked about continuing to grind in the hopes of staging a late-season run. For that to happen, for the Mets to have a realistic shot at playing their best when the games count the most, they are clearly going to need all hands on deck.
"Let's see how I'm feeling tomorrow and then we can go from there," Reyes said. "Hopefully I'm feeling better."
Matt Chaprales is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.