After playing less than 30 games in 2009 due to a hamstring injury, losing Reyes again for a significant time in 2010 would be very harmful to the Mets.
He already has missed several games due to a thyroid inbalance detected in spring training.
He was just starting to play very well at the time of the oblique injury in San Juan, Puerto Rico, so the timing could not be worse for the Mets.
No offense to Ruben Tejada and Alex Cora, they have both filled in admirably at both second base and shortstop during the absences of Reyes and Luis Castillo, but the Mets need Reyes for his spark, he is the igniter of the lineup.
Manager Jerry Manuel stated it was his belief that it was only a "back strain from the turf" but Reyes indicated all along that it was an oblique injury felt in his side.
After missing several games, Reyes came back to the lineup but could only hit from the right side as his left side was still too tender.
During Saturday's game, Reyes winced in pain after making a play on a grounder, luckily for Reyes and the Mets, David Wright intervened and made sure that medical attention was given immediately.
I know that I am far from alone in thinking that Mets management should not have let him return to the lineup when he was still in moderate pain, and that only Wright's assertiveness likely prevented a more serious injury to occur on Saturday.
The following is an excerpt from Wright on ESPN.com about the handling of the injury to Reyes:
Said Wright: "He's obviously hurt. There's no question. Just his mannerisms, the way he plays the game, you could tell something was bothering him. I talked to Jose and he said there were some things bothering him. And I know how important he is going to be for us in the second half. I just wanted the trainers to come out and talk to him and take a look at him. It's nothing more than taking a look at him and seeing the grimace on his face and knowing that he's hurt and wanting to make sure that he's healthy and there for us in the second half."
Another bothersome aspect of the handling of Reyes's injury is that on Sunday he was allowed to bat from the left side during batting practice. Here is Wright's response on that issue from the same ESPN article:
Asked point-blank how his employer allows a player who left a game on Saturday to swing a bat the following day, especially given the organization's spring-training emphasis on conservatism in injury rehab, Wright—generally the most politically-correct Met—said, "I didn't know he took batting practice, but that's a good question for whoever makes those calls."
This past Spring, it was announced that the Mets training staff was taking the "Prevention and Recovery" philosophy on injuries, the handling of this injury to Jose Reyes does not fall into that train of thought and process.
It is everyone's hope that Reyes is healthy and ready to play on Thursday, but if not, there will likely be a lot of answering from Mets management on how this injury has been handled, another PR issue to add to the list that has plagued this organization the last few years.