NEW YORK -- Robinson Cano is right back on the injured list.
Four days after returning to the lineup, the slumping second baseman was placed on the 10-day IL by the New York Mets again Sunday with tightness in his left quadriceps. The move is retroactive to Thursday, after Cano aggravated the injury Wednesday night in his first game since May 22.
Cano sat out the next three days while the Mets tried to determine whether he needed another stint on the injured list.
"When you have an active guy and you start him, you want him to be able to go nine innings. I don't think at this point we were confident that that could happen safely without putting him at any kind of risk," manager Mickey Callaway said. "So we feel like a rehab assignment probably will be the best thing, and a progression throughout that rehab assignment to get him to where he needs to be. He could have probably pinch-hit, but we don't need Robbie to be just a pinch-hitter, we need him to be a starter and go out there and play and get four at-bats a night."
The move means Cano will miss both Subway Series games against his former team at Yankee Stadium this week. But he said he wasn't particularly concerned about that, and he's scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Syracuse or Double-A Binghamton.
"I want to go down and get some at-bats and not just focus on one or two games and then it will take me longer to get ready at the plate," Cano said. "So I'd rather go down and just take some at-bats and work on what I have to do."
An eight-time All-Star, the 36-year-old Cano is batting just .238 with three homers, 14 RBIs and a .650 OPS in his first season with the Mets. They traded five players, included two highly rated prospects, to Seattle for Cano and closer Edwin Diaz -- taking on $100 million of what remained on Cano's contract, which runs through 2023.
Adeiny Hechavarria and Jeff McNeil have filled in nicely at second base for Cano, who was on the injured list from May 23 to June 4 with a strained left quadriceps. Hechavarria started at second Sunday in the series finale against Colorado as McNeil received a scheduled rest.
Cano went through pregame agility drills and said he feels good. But after meeting with the Mets, he agreed with the decision to put him back on the IL because he has had only two at-bats in two-plus weeks and wants to be able to play a full game and contribute offensively when he comes back.
"It's much better for me and the team and all of us," Cano said. "We've got to do what's best for the team, not for me."
To replace him on the roster, New York selected the contract of right-handed reliever Tim Peterson from Syracuse.
"I think it just got to a point where we felt like this was the best thing for Robbie at this point," Callaway said. "We need Robbie to be back and play at 100% and being the player he needs to be, and we felt that this route was going to give us the best chance to accomplish that."