PHILADELPHIA -- Mets shortstop Jose Reyes will begin a rehab assignment Thursday at Double-A Binghamton, putting him on track to return from the disabled list by early next week.
Reyes, who has been on the DL since Aug. 8 with a strained left hamstring, ran a series of sprints to first base at something close to full speed on Monday afternoon. He did not go all-out because, in his own words, he "didn't want to do anything crazy."
Regardless, Reyes is healthy, and the Mets are penciling him in for three to four rehab games -- meaning he could return as soon as Sunday against the Braves. At the very least, barring a setback, the Mets should activate Reyes at some point during their upcoming seven-game homestand.
Prior to straining his left hamstring for the second time this season, Reyes had been struggling to rediscover the MVP-caliber form he displayed throughout the first half of 2011. In the 18 games between his two injuries, Reyes hit .256 with a .280 on-base percentage. Compare that to his .354 average and .398 on-base mark prior to his first hamstring strain.
Even so, entering Monday's play, Reyes continued to lead the National League with a .336 average and 16 triples, giving him an opportunity to become the first Mets player ever to win an NL batting title.