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Mets expect Michael Conforto to be out until the start of May

The Mets have given a timetable for their star outfielder’s return.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets expect Michael Conforto to return around May 1, according to remarks that Sandy Alderson made after the Mets’ Jay Bruce press conference. Although previous reports had indicated that Conforto might not be ready for Opening Day, this is the first time the Mets have given any concrete date for his possible return to the lineup.

Conforto’s All-Star season in 2017 was quickly derailed in late August, when he dislocated his shoulder swinging the bat, tearing his capsule. He underwent season-ending surgery soon afterward.

In the meantime, new Mets acquisition Jay Bruce should be seeing a lot of time in right field for the Mets, and there is no doubt that Conforto’s injury was a motivating factor in the Mets’ reunion with the lefty slugger. It is expected that Juan Lagares will get most of the playing time in center field in Conforto’s absence with Brandon Nimmo filling in as the fourth outfielder. Conforto’s timetable was perhaps also in the back of Sandy Alderson’s mind when he balked at the idea of trading Nimmo for Andrew McCutchen and—more recently—Josh Harrison. It is anticipated that Conforto will play center field upon his return to the Mets, with Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce at the corners.

Sandy Alderson reassured Mets fans that Conforto’s recovery was going well, though. “Everything’s going as planned,” he said. “There have been no setbacks.”