NEW YORK -- According to manager Jerry Manuel, shortstop Jose Reyes could be back with the Mets on Saturday.
But at some point Friday -- probably in the morning -- the Mets' decision-makers will gather, exchange ideas and determine the time has come for Reyes to play baseball again. It will not be a momentous decision or even a difficult one. The club has handled the latest set of circumstances with its shortstop in a most conservative way, demonstrating a level of patience it wishes some of its hitters could achieve.
No matter. It will be a decision with momentous impact.
Whatever levels of anticipation and optimism the Mets brought to their 2010 season will get a booster shot when Reyes returns. Their offense will improve, the defense will narrow some of its infield gaps and the smile quotient in the dugout and clubhouse will improve.
Manuel, after providing all the obligatory qualifiers, said "It's likely he will play here Saturday."
That would be the day Reyes, assigned to the disabled list retroactive to March 26, will be eligible for reinstatement.
Reyes played nine innings in a Florida State League game in Jupiter Thursday night. He was hitless in four at-bats.