WASHINGTON -- With Eric Young Jr.'s right knee injury lingering longer than expected, the Mets outfielder was a late scratch from Friday's lineup due to continued soreness.
Young, who was in Terry Collins' original lineup, said he planned to sit out both halves of Friday's doubleheader at Nationals Park. He hopes to return to active duty Saturday.
"I started to test it out there a little bit," Young said of the running drills he attempted before Game 1 on Friday. "Obviously I still was moving fast and capable of playing. [But] at this point in the season, there's no sense in trying to push it today, when we can go ahead and give it one more day and get out there tomorrow."
Young originally tweaked his right knee Wednesday at Citi Field, on the play that resulted in Braves pitcher Tim Hudson's gruesome right ankle injury. Young started in left field a day later, but departed after three innings due to pain in his knee. X-rays at the time were negative, and Young did not anticipate undergoing any more tests.
"Pain" was no longer the word he used to describe his injury Friday, even if it had not healed enough for him to return to the lineup.
"It felt a lot better today," Young said. "It's just a matter of if I needed to explode, or score that run from first, could I give it that all-out that I'm capable of doing? With that question mark, there's no sense.
"It just wasn't feeling like my left leg. Like I said, there wasn't any pain. But I don't want to go out there and compensate, and maybe hurt something else with the question mark in my head."
To replace Young, the Mets shifted Juan Lagares to center field and moved him to leadoff, with Andrew Brown entering the lineup in left. The configuration was not ideal, Collins said, because of how important Young has become to his lineup since joining the team last month.
"We're very reliant on him," Collins said. "That's what's been a huge difference in our club is to have him at the top of the order. We've seen it already in the last couple weeks -- how he gets on, he's in scoring position all the time. So it's made a big impact on us."