It seems as though its a possibility that Carlos Beltran may have played his last baseball game, at least in the near future.
Beltran was limited to playing 81 games in 2009 because of knee bruises and the time off and rehab from surgery last January has not healed the bruises.
For this reason, he is not ready to resume baseball activities at this time, no timetable has been set on when its possible to return to the Mets.
To his credit, Beltran did return to the Mets in September to finish out the season, although he had been out since late June and had been used as a DH during the inter-league play to give his knee a rest.
The Mets wanted Beltran to wait for a third opinion but Beltran went ahead with the surgery to clean up some of the loose cartilage that had been keeping his right knee inflamed.
Knee surgery was performed in mid-January, which was extremely controversial because of the timing of the start of Spring Training a month later. It was felt by a lot of fans that the surgery should have taken place in either November or early December so that a minimum of playing time in the spring would likely have been minimal.
Omar Minaya announced at the start of Spring Training that once Beltran was cleared for baseball activities, it would be about six weeks before he could return to the lineup.
Beltran was examined in Colorado yesterday and has been told that the bruising is still there and he is not cleared to resume his baseball training activities until the "hot spots" have healed.
This is very disappointing news to the Mets and their fans, who thought they may only have to be without his offensive and defensive production for April and possibly early May.
Fortunately for the team, Angel Pagan has been playing extremely well the last few games and right now it appears that he will be the Mets everyday centerfielder in 2010, most likely at least until the All Star Break.
Gary Matthews Jr. is another option, but most likely will be used for the fourth outfielder and pinch-hitting roles.
Hopefully, the bruising will subside, but Mets fans will possibly need to face the reality that Carlos Beltran has played his last baseball game or at the very least, not be the same player that has been such an integral part of the team.