PITTSBURGH -- Juan Lagares returns to the lineup Thursday for the first time since suffering a strained intercostal muscle on his right side roughly four weeks ago.
New York Mets
Lagares played in four rehab games -- two apiece with the Gulf Coast League Mets and Binghamton Mets. He went a combined 2-for-16 during the rehab assignment.
"The first couple of games I was afraid," Lagares said. "Now I feel more confident. I feel normal. I've been swinging a lot and I don't feel anything."
Lagares indicated he started feeling OK two weeks ago.
"The first week I couldn't do anything -- just take treatment and go home," he said. "After that, I started to do more. I started swinging a little bit."
He believes he received sufficient minor-league work to be ready for his return. He had intended to play Wednesday night for Binghamton, but was scratched as a precaution because of a wet field. The game eventually was rained out.
"I think I got enough," Lagares said.