PITTSBURGH (AP) Mets outfielder Juan Lagares was diagnosed Monday with a partially torn ligament in his left thumb after being examined at a hospital in New York but was expected to rejoin the team before it opens its three-game series against the Pirates on Monday night.
Manager Terry Collins said Lagares likely would be limited to pinch-running during the series and was fitted with a protected glove for his left hand.
Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said Lagares will need surgery at some point, but doctors at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York believe he may be able to put it off until after the season if he can tolerate the pain.
Lagares was injured Saturday while making a diving catch during a 6-4 win against the Marlins in Miami. Playing primarily as the center fielder against left-handed pitchers, Lagares is batting .276 with two home runs in 44 games.
Meanwhile, Yoenis Cespedes was back in the lineup in center field Monday night after sitting out the previous two games with a sore left hip. Re-signed to a $75 million, three-year contract in the offseason after helping the Mets win the NL pennant last season, Cespedes is batting .277 with 15 homers in 50 games.