NEW YORK -- Angel Pagan's updated diagnosis of "point tenderness" in his left side, received Friday, left the Mets without a clear picture of when their starting center fielder might return.
In manager Terry Collins' estimation, Pagan will need another five or six days of rest before beginning baseball activities, then another dozen or so days before he'll be ready to play. And that's merely a rough estimate. It's probable Pagan will be sidelined until late May, possible he could be out even longer than that.
In his absence, the Mets will continue to proceed with a makeshift lineup, batting Daniel Murphy second and starting Jason Pridie in center field. Due in large part to injuries to Jason Bay and Pagan, the Mets have yet to use their projected Opening Day lineup this year -- not in Spring Training, not in April, not yet in May.
"It'd be nice to get them all out there to see what it's like," Collins said. "You envision them all playing good, too. There's going to be a time when, if the lineup lives up to what the numbers on their baseball cards say, it will be really impressive to see and watch. And I certainly hope that's coming."
That much will require health not only from Bay and Pagan, but also from Carlos Beltran, who has played more regularly this season than even Collins expected.
"You always hope to have your lineup out there," Collins said. "But the chance of that happening over 162 games is probably closer to 50 or 60 percent of the time."