NEW YORK -- Infusing some concern into this final homestand, Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran left Tuesday's game after five innings with right knee discomfort. Though he does not believe the injury is serious, Beltran, who underwent surgery on the same knee in January, will have an MRI Wednesday to determine its severity.
"I don't feel like I have to worry," Beltran said. "The pain that I felt last year, it bothered me to walk. It bothered me to do everything. I've been walking here, and I don't feel that sensation."
Reaching on an error in the fourth inning, Beltran felt pain for the first time as he led off first base. Though he played an additional inning in the field, Beltran alerted trainer Ray Ramirez to his condition shortly thereafter, prompting the Mets to remove him from the game.
"I have to be smart about it," Beltran said. "I just can't go out there feeling like that. It's not right."
There is reason for concern regarding Beltran, who underwent arthroscopic right knee surgery in January. Originally expected back by May, he did not wind up returning until the first game after the All-Star break. Since his return, Beltran has had no setbacks -- though he did sit out a game last month with tendinitis in his left knee -- a result of overcompensating during his recovery.
Beltran, 33, also underwent surgery on both knees prior to the 2008 season.
"This is the first time that we've really had an issue with that knee since he's been back," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "He's been pretty good for the most part."
After struggling on both offense and defense upon his return, Beltran had finally begun hitting with consistency in September, entering Tuesday's play batting .364 with five home runs over his last 17 games.
Now, his team may have to stall that momentum. With just six games remaining in the regular season, it seems unlikely that the Mets would allow Beltran to play again this year. But they will wait for the results of Wednesday's MRI before making any decisions.
"Honestly, in my heart, I don't feel like I have to worry," Beltran said. "I felt something. I don't know what it is. But after being back and being able to play all these games, I didn't feel anything until today. So let's see what happens."