The team's doctors then stopped him.
Reyes was scratched from the second-half opener against the San Francisco Giants, who shut out the Mets 2-0 as Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum outdueled knuckeballer R.A. Dickey. And as long as Reyes still feels discomfort from a right oblique injury suffered during batting practice on June 30, the doctors informed him, he will not be cleared to swing a bat.
Sound advice? Likely so.
Two weeks too late? Arguably so, too.
For two weeks after originally suffering the injury, the switch-hitting Reyes had been cleared by doctors to swing a bat. That was the case even though Reyes was experiencing discomfort and was unable to hit from the left side.
Reyes has not appeared in a game since being pulled in the seventh inning Saturday. That's when teammate David Wright spotted Reyes wince while throwing from the outfield grass.
Reyes took swings from the left side Sunday despite not being in the lineup, but he did not pick up a bat while attending the All-Star Game, he said.
"I was getting ready to go outside and try to hit from the left side and I told them, 'I'm not pain-free. I still feel something,'" Reyes said about Thursday's conversation. "They had to wait for the doctor to say yes or no, and the doctor said no. So let's give it one more day, and see what happens in the next day.
"I don't think it's going to take that long, but at the same time, I still feel something there. I have to back off a little bit and let it rest."
Before the game, Reyes said he wasn't sure whether he would hit from the right side or left side against Lincecum on Thursday had he been allowed to proceed and play in the game.
"We never got to that point," Reyes said.
At the All-Star event, Reyes even was advised by Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz to shut things down and let the injury heal. Ortiz told Reyes he had a similar injury and it doesn't get better unless it's given time to heal.
"He said the best thing for that is resting -- you don't want to put too much on there because that's a dangerous spot to get an injury," Reyes said.
Of course, had the Mets placed Reyes on the DL when the injury occurred, he would have been eligible to return for the series opener against the Giants and may have recuperated by now.
"At that time, we didn't think that way," Reyes said. "It was two weeks ago."
Don't blame Jerry Manuel, the manager said. He noted Reyes had been cleared by the doctors and wanted to play for nearly two weeks while still in pain.
"Before he was available to bat right-handed," Manuel said.