Michael Conforto doesn’t know if he’ll be ready for Opening Day, and that likely won’t change for a while as he continues his rehab from the dislocated shoulder that ended his season in August.
“As a competitor and a guy that wants to be out there with my teammates, I’d love to be there [at the start of the season], but the thing is, we want to make sure I’m playing at the end of the year, meaningful baseball,’’ Conforto said.
Of course, given the disappointment of last year and the team’s relative lack of activity so far this offseason, whether there will be meaningful baseball played in Queens at the end of the year is in doubt.
But Conforto stressed he won’t rush back — nor will the team rush him back — from the torn posterior capsule he suffered during a swing on Aug. 24.
“The season is so long … [so] would it be the worst thing in the world to miss the first few games or the first week or so?” Conforto said. “I don’t think so. I definitely want to be out there. We’ll see what happens. I’ll take it slow, take it easy and make sure I’m the same guy [and] the effective player I want to be out there.”
He’ll find out more about his status next week in Los Angeles, where he is scheduled to visit Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who performed the surgery on the left shoulder.
Conforto currently is limited to physical therapy three or four times a week. If he receives positive news next week, he hopes to resume swinging sometime in January, which the outfielder said would put him only a month behind schedule.
The plan for spring training and going forward will be determined by the medical staff as Conforto sees how he responds to increased activity.
Conforto said he has suffered no setbacks, but added he has yet to really test the shoulder.
When he does return, Conforto said he doesn’t believe he will be impacted by the injury or the truncated offseason program.
“I don’t plan on changing anything,’’ Conforto said of his approach at the plate. “I think I was pretty effective with the swing that I had.”
He plans on getting an early start in working out in Port St. Lucie, arriving at the end of January.
“I think it would do me good to get out of the cold and get outside,” Conforto said. “I know the Mets will want me back there, just to keep an eye on me. At that point, I’ll probably be amping stuff up. I always planned on getting there early this year.”
The Mets are also looking for some upgrades in the lineup — and perhaps insurance if Conforto isn’t ready for the start of the season.
The 24-year-old was having a breakout season — hitting a career-high 27 homers — when he got hurt, and though he declined to analyze the Mets’ offseason, he expressed confidence they were in store for a better 2018.
“I think we have a great team and great players,’’ Conforto said. “It’s tough to have a great year with all the injuries we had. That’s on us for not being healthy. I think if we do stay healthy, we’ll be just fine.”