Finally, an update on Michael Conforto from the source himself.
The New York Mets budding star spoke with the media on Tuesday morning to shed some light on his recovery from a dislocated shoulder that required surgery after fouling off a pitch.
His return to the lineup has been shrouded in mystery for most of the offseason.
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In November, rumors hinted that Conforto would not only be ready for Opening Day, but that he'd be good to go by spring training. That sentiment changed last month when Mets general manager Sandy Alderson revealed that Conforto wouldn't be ready until May 1.
On Tuesday, he confirmed that he likely won't be ready until then.
"As a competitor, it's tough for me to not look at that date and want to get out there before that," Conforto said. "But that's why we have the great medical staff that we have... they're helping me understand that I have to be the player that I was and the player I'm going to be again and that comes from doing things the right way."
He also revealed that he began hitting off a tee Saturday after being cleared by doctors to swing toward the end of January.
"Everything has been smooth since then," Conforto said. "We just have to keep working. Baby steps at this point and I couldn't be more happy to be swinging a bat and holding a bat."
He was seen tracking pitches during drills on Monday, but that was him just holding the bat and watching the ball travel through the zone without swinging.
Conforto rediscovered his mojo at the plate last year after a dismal 2016 campaign put his spot on the big club in jeopardy. In 109 games two seasons ago, Conforto batted just .220 with 12 home runs, 42 RBI and a .310 on-base percentage. He flew out of the gates in 2017 and was the Mets' best hitter for most of the season, batting .279 with 27 home runs, 68 RBI and a .384 on-base percentage, also in 109 games.
In the first two months of the season, he put up a .316 batting average with 13 round trippers.
While the 24-year-old continues to recover, New York will likely work with a platoon of Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo in center field, sandwiched between Yoenis Cespedes in left and Jay Bruce in right.