Mets set a date for their star catcher to begin a rehab assignment

New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (4) picks up a bunt and throws out Detroit Tigers centerfielder Parker Meadows in the fourth inning at Clover Park
Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The injury bug for the second year in a row has bit the Mets hard and often. The blue and orange have been without ace Kodai Senga for the entirety of the campaign as he began the season on the injured list after suffering a shoulder strain during spring training and has dealt with multiple setbacks while attempting to return.

Tylor Megill and Drew Smith have gone down with respective arm injuries, while Brooks Raley had to undergo season-ending elbow surgery. While most of those critical contributors have yet to return, one of the Mets’ most important injured positional players is getting closer.

Francisco Álvarez is getting closer to returning from injury

New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (4) rounds the bases after hitting a grand slam home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the third inning at Citi Field
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Francisco Álvarez has been out of the Mets lineup since April 19, after Álvarez tumbled rounding first base and jammed his thumb into the dirt. After undergoing testing, it was revealed that the 22-year-old tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb and required surgery to repair the tear. Now, Álvarez is set to take a massive step in his recovery by starting a rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton on Thursday.

Mets manager Carlos Mendoza is confident in Álvarez’s return

According to Mets manager Carlos Mendoza, Álvarez is set to catch from five to seven innings on Thursday. Then, the organization plans to reevaluate before trying to build the 22-year-old back up to the point where he is comfortable catching back-to-back days:

“Everything is moving in the right direction,” Mendoza said (h/t SNY).“The fact that he’s now ready to go in games, that’s a good sign for us.”

Álvarez was slashing .236/.288.364 with one home run and eight RBIs through 16 games this season before the injury and recently took batting practice for the first time since the operation this past weekend.

“It feels good,” Álvarez said after the batting practice session. “I feel good hitting on the field. I feel like a baseball player.”

Time will tell exactly when the 22-year-old is ready to get behind the dish again for the blue and orange, but Álvarez’s recovery is certainly progressing as nicely as the Flushing Faithful could have hoped for.

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