PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Despite feeling great making a headfirst slide into second base while playing against minor leaguers Wednesday, New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes will open the season on the disabled list, a source familiar with the situation told ESPNNewYork.com.
Reyes had been idle for three weeks during spring training after doctors detected a hyperactive thyroid. He returned to camp and resumed working out last week. Team officials have concluded out of caution that Reyes ought to work into baseball shape deliberately and not be rushed for Opening Day.
General manager Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel have indicated Alex Cora would start at shortstop in the April 5 opener against the Florida Marlins if Reyes wasn't available. Reyes would be eligible to return for Game No. 6, on April 11 against the Washington Nationals, because the DL stint could be backdated into spring training.
"There's no doubt I would like to be with the team," Reyes said Wednesday afternoon. "But, like I say, they have that decision."
Reyes has not appeared in a major league game since May 20, 2009, when right-leg woes sent him to the disabled list. He ultimately underwent surgery on Oct. 15 to clean up scar tissue around a torn accessory hamstring tendon behind his right knee. Reyes also needed three months to recover from a torn hamstring muscle, which he suffered while rehabbing the original injury.
Still, Reyes had displayed his health on the eve of the Grapefruit League season. On the first pitch he saw in an intrasquad game on March 1, Reyes delivered a two-run triple.
He never advanced to an official exhibition game, however. Doctors flagged his blood work after reviewing his initial spring-training physical. He was eventually sent to New York for more tests, then told to avoid any activity that would raise his heart rate until his thyroid levels returned to normal.
"It was tough for me because I came here to spring training ready to play in the game," Reyes said. "And then I had this problem with my thyroid and I had to sit on my couch for 20 days -- three weeks. I mean, that's too much."
Reyes said he barely left his house while under the doctors' orders to remain inactive. He indicated the only redeeming part was spending time with his three daughters: Katerine, 5; Ashely, 3; and Joselyn Valentina, 13 months.
"I didn't have the energy to go out and have a lot of people say, 'Feel good. Hopefully see you soon.' I just stayed with my family. The only good thing was that," Reyes said. "We did a lot of different stuff. I had to watch kid movies with them, too -- a couple of those. 'Tooth Fairy.' I watched that one. And I had a chance to go to school and pick them up and bring them to the house."
The Mets, who struggled with major injuries last season, made a couple of other formal moves on Wednesday to add to the misery this season with Kelvim Escobar (shoulder) and Carlos Beltran (knee) officially placed on DL.
Adam Rubin is ESPNNewYork.com's Mets reporter. He has covered the Mets since 2003.