"You know, it took me a while because I'm a human being, of course, and I'm a person who has feelings," Beltran told reporters in his first public comments on his disagreement with the team. "It took me like a week for me to forget everything and focus on what is important for me. What is important for me right now is just to be with the team, be ready, and being able to play."
The Mets said they had given Beltran permission to get a second opinion from a knee specialist in Colorado, but asked him to hold off on surgery so the team could study its medical options and potentially get a third opinion. Beltran said he had followed the directions of his doctors and that the team had said nothing to him until it was too late.
Dr. Richard Steadman, who offered the second opinion, operated on Beltran, removing cartilage fragments and inflammation, and shaving bone spurs. His recovery time was estimated at 8 to 12 weeks.
Monday, Beltran walked into the clubhouse without a noticeable limp. He said he will spend the coming weeks rebuilding strength in his knee, having re-established range of motion.
"I'm right on schedule," Beltran said of his rehab. "I'm not ahead of schedule because I don't feel like my knee right now is too stable. I wish I could run. But right now I don't feel like that. I feel like if I run, something wrong is going to happen, because the quad is not stable, the hamstrings are not stable. Once I strengthen those areas, I think everything else is going to fall in place and it's going to be feeling good."
Beltran said he noticed an improvement in his knee right away after the procedure.
"The doctor said to me when he went inside, he said to me actually that he couldn't believe how I was playing with so many little pieces floating around the knee," he said. "When he cleaned those out, he said, 'You're going to feel 100 percent the day after I do the surgery.' And actually that's how I felt. When they did the surgery, the day after I was riding the bike. No pain. Moving the knee. Bending the knee. No pain.
Only time will tell if the surgery was a success, Beltran said. "But right now I'm really positive. I'm very happy with the outcome. I'm looking forward to continue to strengthen the quad and strengthen the knee and make it to the point where I can go out and run. That will be the biggest test - being able to run and do baseball activity pain free."