"I'm just doing as much as I can in the weight room without stressing the muscle," said Hairston, who recently received three cortisone shots in his midsection to promote the healing of his strained left oblique. Unable to do much more than weightlifting for now, Hairston soon plans to begin riding a stationary bike and tracking pitches from a machine.
Down time is also more plentiful than usual for David Wright, who continues to battle stiffness in his rib cage and hopes to make his Grapefruit League debut at some point next week. Between exercise and treatment, Wright found some free moments Friday to watch a spirited round of pitchers' batting practice on Field 2, jawing with his teammates before rain drove them inside.
He and Hairston are hardly alone in their idleness. The list of minor Mets injuries grew by one Friday, when the team scratched outfielder Lucas Duda from his game assignment with a stiff back.
"It's just one of those things," Duda said. "Not a big deal at all."
Sometimes, small issues do turn into big ones, as the Mets have come to know all too well. But most times, they don't. Andres Torres, for example, was a late scratch Thursday with a stiff right glute, but Torres felt "much better" Friday and plans to start in center field Saturday. Unlike Duda, Torres was listed on the travel roster for the Mets' trip to Viera, Fla.
Other news around the clubhouse varies. Left-hander Robert Carson, who also struggled through some oblique tightness last week, is feeling better and working out as normal. Second-base prospect Reese Havens continues to sit with stiffness in his lower back. Reliever Pedro Beato is receiving treatment on his inflamed right rotator cuff, unsure of when he will attempt to throw.
"How the shoulder recovers in the next couple days will determine how quickly I can get back on the mound," Beato said.
In the meantime, he and others will remain idle. Hairston enjoyed a long breakfast Friday as his teammates streamed out to the field, later relaxing at his locker with a pair of over-sized headphones. Doing nothing is hardly his preference.
"I have to make sure it's healed before I start swinging," Hairston said of his oblique. "If it's not healed, I'm back to square one and that's the last thing I want to do."