The Mets won’t be without Michael Conforto — or a left-handed bat — much longer.
Conforto, who has been on the injured list since suffering a concussion in a collision with Robinson Cano on May 16, said Friday that he feels “100 percent,” and expects to resume playing this weekend at Citi Field. Manager Mickey Callaway was also optimistic Conforto would be back before the team departs for Los Angeles on Sunday night.
Before Friday’s game against the Tigers, Conforto enjoyed his first day of baseball activities without restrictions, and is now waiting on MLB clearance to be activated from the injured list.
“I feel good. I feel normal. I feel happy that I’m back to doing full baseball activity,” Conforto said. “I feel 100 percent. Just kind of taking it day by day.”
Since Conforto went down, the Mets have also lost Cano, Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil to injury. The imminent return of the 26-year-old Conforto fills at least one hole in the depleted outfield and lineup.
This season, Conforto ranks third on the Mets with a .271 batting average and is second with nine home runs. In the five games prior to the injury, Conforto was 7-of-15 with three homers.
“Everything feels fine. In the cage, my swing feels fine. [It] feels like it was when I stopped playing,” Conforto said. “I feel ready to go, but we’re gonna be smart about it.”
Conforto has watched the replay of the pop-up that caused the collision in Washington, but has no memory of the immediate aftermath of the incident.
“I didn’t realize at first that I had been knocked out. I thought I had just hit him. I hit the ground. I was dizzy getting up,” Conforto said. “Afterwards I watched the video and there were 10 seconds in there that I didn’t have. It’s new to me. I’ve never been knocked out like that. … I kind of wanted to go back in time and tell myself to pull up or call it a little louder. We could’ve avoided that and maybe things would’ve turned out differently.”
Conforto said he’d never been diagnosed with a concussion before, but acknowledges this may not have been his first significant head injury.
“I can remember in football in high school getting your bell rung, as they say, shaken up, and you forget where you’re at for a second, but concussion protocol has come a long way,” Conforto said. “It was strange. I had a headache that night. I woke up the next day feeling fine, so I think I was lucky. I was definitely lucky not to have terrible symptoms and be able to check all those boxes along the way. The training staff and the doctors have been very meticulous, very careful with me, as they should be. These things are nothing to mess around with.”
Not after Ryan Church. Not after Jason Bay. Not after everything everyone now knows.
“This injury is kind of different because, you know, I didn’t hurt my shoulder, I didn’t hurt anything on my body, it’s obviously just the brain,” said Conforto, laughing after hearing his own words. “Just the brain, right? But I’ve been symptom-free for five, six days.”