Michael Cuddyer starts vs. D-backs, but balky knee remains issue

NEW YORK -- Left fielder Michael Cuddyer returns to the New York Mets' lineup on Friday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks, after starting only two of the previous eight games. Still, Cuddyer's left knee issue is not behind him.

General manager Sandy Alderson said Cuddyer can play as long as he can tolerate any associated pain. Alderson insisted that he will not do any additional damage by doing so. The GM added that it is "not clear" if a surgical procedure will need to be performed at the end of the season.

Cuddyer received injections of cortisone and a lubricant during an examination with team doctors nine days ago. He was reexamined during Thursday's off-day.