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Juan Lagares could be back with the Mets as early as next week

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The defensive whiz, who missed Opening Day, is on track to make his return shortly.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Houston Astros Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

When Juan Lagares was placed on the disabled list with an oblique strain to start the season, the question was how long it would take him to get healthy. We now have a likely answer. According to multiple sources, the Mets are targeting next week for Lagares’s return.

According to Marc Carig, Lagares is slated to appear in a rehab game on Monday, April 10. If no problems emerge during the rehab start, Lagares would then make his return to the team sometime later in the week.

Lagares missed significant time last season after his injured thumb required surgery to repair. Lagares hit just .239/.301/.380 in 2016, but continued to be a standout in the field, having won a Gold Glove in 2014.

Lagares’s return could spell trouble for Michael Conforto in what’s already a crowded outfield. Conforto, whose most notable moment so far this season was being forgotten by Howie Rose during the team’s Opening Day introductions, would certainly lose playing time with Lagares back in the mix, and might even be sent down to the Las Vegas 51s.