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Church itching to be back with Mets

Church itching to be back with Mets

NEW YORK -- While Ryan Church has had the pleasure of watching a few entertaining rounds of U.S. Open golf on his couch at home, he'd been begging the Mets for the past four days to let him back into Shea Stadium.

Church, who has been on the disabled list since Monday with post-concussion syndrome, got his foot in the clubhouse door on Sunday in time to wish teammates a "Happy Father's Day" before the doubleheader. It's been tough to stay away, like fellow corner outfielder Moises Alou, but Church said on Sunday that he is definitely on track to come off the DL when he is first eligible on Saturday.

"It's progressing every day, it's getting better," Church said. "I haven't had any spells or anything like that. It's just one of those things now, waiting out time on the DL."

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While Church was officially put on the 15-day disabled list on Monday, it was retroactive to the last time he played vs. the Padres on June 6. Whether he will play on Saturday in a game at Colorado is still unknown, but Church, a native of California, will not be permitted to fly with the team on its road trip to play the Angels. Instead, Church will stay in New York to start working out on Monday.

He reported no dizzy spells or headaches as of late, although Church was given a few doses of medication during his off-period to correct a couple of minor symptoms, but he said it was "nothing that stayed long."

Near the end of manager Willie Randolph's pregame press conference, he took notice of the fact that his long-lost right fielder was on the grounds. Randolph said he hadn't really seen Church recently and ended his remarks by saying he'd go straight from the podium to the locker room to check up on his player.

"I haven't seen him. He's a good kid," Randolph said. "I'm looking forward to seeing him. I'm concerned about him -- looking forward to looking at him and seeing how he feels."

In the mean time, Church can only hope and wait out an injury that has been on and off. It has been almost a month since he initially banged his head on Atlanta shortstop Yunel Escobar's knee on May 20.

Since then, Church said he has been trying -- however unsuccessfully -- to get in touch with former Major Leaguer Corey Koskie to talk about how to treat his concussion. Koskie, who hit his head on the ground trying to catch a pop fly during the 2006 season, has yet to play in a big league game since the incident.

Church, though, is more optimistic about his prognosis after this rest period.

"I haven't had any spells. I haven't been waking up and getting out of bed," Church said. "... It's tough not being able to go out there -- strap up and go out to battle -- can't be a part of it. I just have to take my time. [I've] got a few more days on the DL and [I'll] go from there."

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

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