Juan Lagares has partially torn thumb ligament, won't go to DL yet

PITTSBURGH -- New York Mets outfielder Juan Lagares has been diagnosed with a partial tear of a ligament in his left thumb but will attempt to play through the injury rather than undergo surgery.

Manager Terry Collins said the Mets will give Lagares three or four days to let inflammation subside in order to learn if he is capable of gripping a bat with the aid of taping and possibly a splint. A disabled-list decision may be made at that point.

The Mets will play shorthanded in the interim, although Lagares is due to rejoin the team for Monday's series opener in Pittsburgh after being examined by team doctors in Manhattan earlier in the day.

Lagares suffered the injury in the sixth inning of Saturday's game against the Miami Marlins, when he made a run-saving diving catch in left-center to rob Ichiro Suzuki. Lagares departed the game two innings later when he was unable to bat.

Assistant general manager John Ricco suggested that Lagares would likely have surgery after the season if he can play through the injury for now.

"Because it's on his glove hand and bottom hand on a bat, there's a good chance he'll be able to play with it," Ricco said. "We won't know until some of the swelling gets out of there and he has a chance to see how it feels. ... You've seen guys play with this and have surgery after the season. I would guess that would be the normal course."

The Mets face left-handed pitchers on Monday and Wednesday against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. On those days, Lagares would typically be in the lineup in center field, with Yoenis Cespedes shifting to left field. Instead, Cespedes remains in center field for the series opener against ex-Met Jonathon Niese, with lefty-hitting Michael Conforto starting in left field.

Cespedes had been out of the starting lineup Saturday and Sunday with right hip discomfort. His return on Monday allows the Mets to take a wait-and-see approach with Lagares rather than place him on the DL now.

It has been a rough few weeks for the Mets' lineup. First baseman Lucas Duda was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his lower back last month, and third baseman David Wright landed on the DL on Friday with a herniated disk in his neck. Catcher Travis d'Arnaud has been sidelined since late April with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

D'Arnaud began a rehab assignment as the designated hitter for Class A St. Lucie on Sunday, but he will not begin catching in minor league games for another week. He currently is throwing at distances of up to 150 feet, but not at full throttle, according to Collins. Rehab assignments for position players are a maximum of 20 days. Since the Mets started that clock Sunday, d'Arnaud should return in less than three weeks.