Return shortlived for ailing Alou

Return shortlived for ailing Alou

NEW YORK -- Mets left fielder Moises Alou kept his voice low as he answered reporters' questions Wednesday afternoon. He spoke slowly and quietly as he explained that the soreness in his left calf would once again take him out of the Mets' lineup less than 24 hours after his return from the disabled list.

It came in stark contrast to his animation just one day earlier, as Alou prepared to head onto the field Tuesday night against the Diamondbacks.

By Wednesday, the excitement had disappeared, and all the outfielder could feel was frustration and disappointment.

"There's no words to describe it," Alou said. "It's just not getting any easier."

The veteran said Tuesday that his calf has to feel 100 percent before he even considers going out on the field. On Wednesday, it felt 50 percent.

Alou was trying to schedule an MRI exam for later on Wednesday, and because calf injuries are unpredictable, he's not sure what to expect.

"Right now, I'm taking it hours at a time, not even a day at a time," Alou said.

Before a strained left calf sent him to the 15-day disabled list on May 22, Alou was batting .340, and the left fielder seemed to pick up where he left off Tuesday night. In his first at-bat, Alou swung at the first pitch and slugged a two-run single to spark the Mets.

But as the game went on, he said his calf felt progressively worse. And when the the contest paused because of a 61-minute rain delay, Alou was grateful.

"I thought the rain was like a blessing, because I had a reason to come out of the game," he said.

Alou didn't get back on the field after the delay, and Damion Easley took his place in left field.

For Alou, dealing with one injury after another is hard to take. He expressed concerned that the soreness returned the same day that his calf felt 100 percent. But it's not just the physical pain that bothers him. Even as he walked past his teammates, Alou felt embarrassment.

"I wish I was standing here talking to you about a game-winning hit instead of, 'I hurt, hurt, hurt,'" he said. "It's the story of my life."

Alou has dealt with a series of injuries throughout his career. He's learned to keep a positive outlook, and before Tuesday's game, he said he had a good feeling this time.

But one day later, when asked if this was the most down he's felt, Alou simply bit his lip, lowered his eyes and nodded.

"I'm not out yet," he said. "But I'm pretty down."

Samantha Newman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.