ATLANTA -- Jose Reyes and the Carlos Brothers are closer to returning to the Mets' regular lineup -- just as we all are closer than ever to Labor Day. Not that anyone has put it in such terms, but from what Omar Minaya, the Mets general manager and prognosis provider, said Thursday, the circumstances involving the Mets' three highest profile disabled list assignees are in only slightly sharper focus than they were last week.
In each case, it still seems that the three position players -- Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado -- are due back later than sooner and no one can say when later might arrive. Reyes and Beltran are likely to return before Delgado, Minaya said. But that hardly was a new development. He said Delgado's return could be mid-August, but couldn't say for sure.
Reyes and Delgado are in Port St. Lucie continuing rehab work and treatment. Reyes participated in simulated game conditions with his fellow teammate on the DL, John Maine, pitching Thursday. Reyes' condition has improved significantly in the last week after he received a cortisone injection, the general manager said. But Minaya described a scenario of several things that would have to happen before Reyes would play in a rehab game and couldn't say when that scenario might begin. The most optimism Minaya expressed involved Maine and Reyes, who might be able to return by the end of the month.
At the same time, he said an MRI of Beltran's problematic right knee indicated the bruise under his knee cap remains, and Fernando Martinez, also assigned to the DL, underwent surgery during the All-Star break to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. Martinez, 20 and oft-injured, is to be unavailable until mid-September.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.