NEW YORK -- Jason Bay's road back from the disabled list began Monday at Citi Field, when a team doctor examined the outfielder and cleared him to begin baseball activities.
That process will begin Tuesday, though Bay is not yet sure of the specific program. All he knew Monday evening was that he will begin his baseball activities at Citi Field this week, before continuing his rehab in Port St. Lucie, Fla., over the weekend.
"It's just basically ramping up," Bay said. "Everything was kind of tolerable -- running, hitting, everything. It's just kind of a progression."
Bay has done little more than ride a stationary bike and elliptical machine since fracturing a left rib late last month. Should his body take well to baseball activities, he could rejoin the Mets as soon as late May.
"When I first did it, everything bothered me," Bay said, estimating that his rib is now 80 percent healed. "Now, all the day-to-day stuff doesn't bother me."
Bay is now three weeks removed from his injury, which he suffered in diving pursuit of a ball on April 23. Doctors gave him an initial estimate of a three-to-six-week recovery.
"I can't just jump into the cage, take hacks and then be on the field," Bay said. "There's a ramping up that goes with it, so I just want to start that. And if there are things along the way that bother me, I'll slow down a bit."
In the days prior to landing on the disabled list, Bay had been one of the team's top offensive threats, batting .290 with three home runs and a .613 slugging percentage over his final nine games.