NEW YORK — As if the New York Mets needed any more bad news, now they have no idea when they might get Yoenis Cespedes back.
Sidelined for nearly a month by a nagging hip injury, the oft-injured slugger had his minor league rehabilitation assignment cut short Sunday following a setback.
Cespedes, on the disabled list since May 14 because of a strained right hip flexor, hit two doubles Saturday in his second rehab game for Double-A Binghamton but was removed early with tightness in his right quadriceps.
“Same thing,” manager Mickey Callaway said Sunday. “It’s where the quad attaches to the hip.”
Cespedes is headed to the team’s complex in Florida to try again to get healthy. The Mets had hoped the left fielder would be back Tuesday night in Atlanta, but now there is no timetable for his return.
“Same stuff he’s been battling. It’s not a total setback to Day One, but still not feeling the way he would like it to feel to come up here and contribute,” Callaway said.
Callaway said Cespedes’ first hit Saturday was a stand-up double, but on the second one the slugger had to run a little harder to make sure he made it to second and that’s when he felt discomfort again.
“He feels like he’s not quite ready, so we’re going to send him to Florida to kind of start that day-to-day process of getting him where he needs to be,” Callaway said.
Slumping badly at the plate, the plummeting Mets had lost eight straight games and 15 of 18 going into Sunday night’s Subway Series finale against the New York Yankees.
“We were excited about the prospect of getting him back in a few days, but like we said before, we can’t let these injuries stop us from doing what we need to do,” Callaway said. “We have other major league players that can step up and get the job done, and that’s what we need to do.”
Cespedes, a two-time All-Star, is batting .255 with eight homers and 28 RBIs this season. He was limited to 81 games last year by leg injuries and has had trouble staying on the field for the Mets since signing a $110 million, four-year contract in November 2016.
“I think that when he initially went on the disabled list, it was to knock this completely out so he can come back and be the healthy player he wants to be. I think as this continues to move forward and if it continues to drag on that there has to be a level of understanding of things you’re talking about — like, it may be something that you battle throughout the rest of your career,” Callaway said. “But I don’t think we’re at that place yet. So I think that the goal is still to get him to where he can go out there and feel normal.”