The initial prognosis was for Conforto to return by early May from surgery off his left shoulder. However, he’s ahead of schedule and been hitting balls off a tee.
“I have been waiting forever to be able to do that and it feels great,’’ Conforto told reporters in Port S. Lucie. “It really makes you understand how much you love it.’’
It’s encouraging news, no doubt, but is it enough for the Mets to tempt fate?
Conforto, who had surgery in September to repair a dislocated shoulder, said he’s content with the timetable initially set by doctors and the Mets. However, there are temptations.
“There’s the May 1 date and that kind of gives me an idea,’’ Conforto said. “As a competitor, it’s tough to look at that date and not want to get out there before that, but that is why we have the great medical staff we have.’’
Conforto wants to break camp with the team, but rushing back – especially in the chilly April evenings when it is hard to get loose – would be the worst thing for him to do.
Manager Mickey Callaway insists he won’t be seduced by positive reports about Conforto’s shoulder, even if it means a slow start.
“Players always tell you they are better than they probably are [physically], so we are going to be aware of that,’’ Callaway said. “We want [Conforto] back, and when he’s there, he is ready for the rest of the season.’’
That’s what he says now. Will he say the same thing in a month?