The Mets announced that Cabrera will be idle for at least two weeks. He then may resume baseball activity if comfortable.
Cabrera flew to New York on Friday to undergo platelet-rich plasma therapy at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
With only 23 days until the opener against the Kansas City Royals on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, Cabrera probably will not be ready to begin the season on the field.
"He may not be ready for Opening Day," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. "It's one of the reasons we have the depth on our roster that we have now. If he's ready in three or four weeks, he's essentially [active] the first week of the season, and we'll be in pretty good shape."
The Mets revamped their middle infield during the offseason, signing Cabrera to a two-year, $18.5 million contract and acquiring second baseman Neil Walker from the Pittsburgh Pirates for left-hander Jonathon Niese. Those moves pushed former starters Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada to backup infield roles. Now Flores and Tejada should revert to handling shortstop until Cabrera is ready.
The Mets have let teams know during spring training that they would be willing to entertain trade offers for Tejada, who is due to make $3 million in his final season before free agency. Given the news with Cabrera, Tejada now appears far more likely to stick with the Mets for Opening Day.
"We continue to analyze where we are and how our roster looks in relation to our injury situation and other considerations," Alderson said. "That's an ongoing process."
The St. Louis Cardinals have been considering acquiring Tejada to offset the loss of Jhonny Peralta for the first part of the season due to a thumb injury that required surgery, sources told ESPN.com.
Cabrera departed Thursday's Grapefruit League game in the first inning with what was initially announced as a sore left knee.
After departing, Cabrera said he did not believe the injury was serious and that he previously hadn't had a problem with that knee.
Cabrera had a first-inning single against St. Louis Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia. On a subsequent fly out by Yoenis Cespedes, Cabrera took advantage of center fielder Tommy Pham nonchalantly returning the baseball to the infield and alertly took second base. But as Cabrera approached the bag, he pulled up lame.
He had an MRI on Thursday night in Florida. The images were then sent to the team's New York-based medical staff.
"I was running -- with the fly ball -- to second, and thinking slide," Cabrera said. "I saw the bad throw, so I tried to stay up. I felt something in my knee. It's sore right now."