Travis d'Arnaud within three weeks of return from DL

MIAMI -- There is a light at the end of the tunnel for New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud in his rehab of a rotator-cuff strain in his throwing shoulder.

D’Arnaud served as the designated hitter in an extended spring training game on Friday. He is now expected to begin an official rehab assignment this weekend with St. Lucie in the Florida State League.

Rehab assignments for position players last a maximum of 20 days. So d’Arnaud would appear within three weeks of returning, barring a setback.

Still, d’Arnaud is only expected to serve as the DH in his first several rehab games, according to manager Terry Collins.

D’Arnaud is not yet ready to catch in games.

“I think it’s a ways away throwing-wise,” Collins said. “I just think it’s important to start getting some at-bats.”

D’Arnaud landed on the DL on April 26. Kevin Plawecki and Rene Rivera have shared the catching duties in his absence.