Jason Bay out with tight right hamstring

NEW YORK -- New York Mets left fielder Jason Bay will test his injured right leg Thursday morning to determine whether he is healthy enough to play in the Mets' afternoon game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Bay was removed from Wednesday's game against the Cardinals in the fourth inning after he aggravated a pre-existing hamstring injury while sprinting after a fly ball in foul territory. Bay said afterward that his hamstring tightened up while running full speed on the play.

Both Bay and Mets manager Terry Collins said the removal was precautionary. Bay said he may miss Thursday's game but predicted his absence would not drag on any longer than that.

He also felt tightness while running out a ground ball to shortstop in the second inning.

"It's not terrible. It's just something that I'm trying to be proactive about," Bay said.

He first suffered the injury Saturday against Philadelphia when he tripped over Ryan Howard's foot at first base. Bay said he landed awkwardly and felt pain in his right hip and hamstring.

He believes he initially overcompensated for the hip pain, which led to greater strain on his hamstring.

"It hasn't been bad," Bay said. "It's just been there, and it's something I've kind of been fighting. Terry was aware of it yesterday. And then today I kind of felt that it was OK if I was jogging. I hit that ground ball to short. My first couple of steps I could feel it. And then I kind of slowed down a little bit. It was something that was preventing me from really going."

Bay said the ailment hasn't affected him at the plate, where he has struggled mightily in his second season with the Mets.

He's hitting just .232 with six homers and 29 RBIs. He has four hits in his past 37 at-bats and has been the subject of consistent boos during recent Mets home games due to a lack of production after signing a four-year, $66 million contract in the 2009 offseason.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.