Mets’ Michael Conforto leaves spring training to get extra testing on side injury

Mets right fielder Michael Conforto has been forced to leave spring training due to injury. Conforto suffered an injury to his right side while making a play on a fly ball where he collided with the outfield wall during Saturday’s game against the Nationals. He was removed from the game at the start of the sixth inning. The 27-year-old underwent an MRI in Florida, but he headed to New York for additional testing.

“Michael tweaked his side catching a fly ball in the wind during a game a couple of days ago,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen told Newsday’s Tim Healey. “We will provide updates when we have more information.”

After Conforto undergoes further evaluation, the Mets should have a better idea of the severity of his injury. But for now, the timetable for his return is unknown. In the scenario that Conforto is not healthy in time for Opening Day, the Mets can turn to Jake Marisnick, acquired from the Astros back in December, or shift Brandon Nimmo to right field.

J.D. Davis will likely stay at left field while Dominic Smith or Jeff McNeil could be alternate options to fill in if Conforto misses time. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (fractured ankle) has begun hitting in simulated games and running at full speed, though it’s unlikely he’ll be ready to return to the lineup by Opening Day.

Conforto, an All-Star in 2017, hit .257/.363/.494 with a career highs in home runs (33) and RBI (92) last season. 

The Mets have seen three other players suffer injuries during spring training, with right-hander Seth Lugo (fractured left pinky toe), Davis (inflamed shoulder) and Nimmo (irregular heart beat) all missing time.

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