Bay hopes to return April 9

March, 31, 2011
3/31/11
9:48
AM ET
Jason Bay expressed hope he can return from a left rib-cage muscle strain on April 9, when he is eligible to come off the disabled list.

Speaking in Port St. Lucie on Thursday morning, where he will remain during rehab, Bay said it was "devastating" to have suffered the injury swinging during batting practice two days earlier in Viera, Fla., considering he did not play after July 25 last season because of a concussion.

Jason Bay


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New York Mets

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"I took one swing and had a little bit of a sting or a stab in my side," Bay said. "I've never had that before. I kind of hoped it was a cramp. With all the side problems that are running rampant in baseball, I kind of had a feeling something was up there. I took another round and it didn't feel any better. That's when we just shut it down."

Bay received a cortisone injection Wednesday in Manhattan from Mets doctors.

"They use a machine to kind of look at exactly where they're injecting it," Bay said. "There's a little spot there -- just a little strained muscle in my rib cage. It's nothing big, but it's the rib cage. So when you're kind of moving around, it makes it a little tough. The goal is I think they're going to backdate it enough where I would be eligible to come back on the 9th, I believe. In talking to the doctors -- things change -- but in talking to the doctors they think it's very reasonable to think I could be out there for that, which would be nice."

Bay said one of the first questions doctors asked was how painful his side was when he sneezed, which he has yet to do. He termed the discomfort "very, very mild" when he coughs.

"Not like I cough and I wince over in pain," Bay said. "I can feel something there."

As for the continued absence from the major league lineup, Bay said: "It was devastating at first. You put in all that time in the offseason. You come off a concussion. And then all of a sudden you come into spring [training] and the last week or so of spring I felt like I was starting to catch a stride and was getting excited. Then, all of a sudden, to have a derailment, it was a tough day yesterday. But what's done is done. You move on. The silver lining, I guess, is it's not -- knock on wood -- that bad and there will still be a full season ahead of me."
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.301 9 53 73
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 26
RBIL. Duda 76
RD. Murphy 73
OPSL. Duda .837
WB. Colon 12
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.44
SOZ. Wheeler 155