Mets’ McNeil expected to start rehab assignment by Sunday

BALTIMORE (AP) — New York Mets manager Luis Rojas said Tuesday that he expects infielder Jeff McNeil to begin a rehab assignment by the end of the weekend.

McNeil hasn’t played since May 16 because of a strained left hamstring. He’s hitting .242 with three home runs and eight RBIs on the season, but he batted over .300 each of his first three years in the big leagues, and the injury-plagued Mets could certainly use him back.

Rojas also said outfielder Michael Conforto (right hamstring strain) is probably a couple weeks from starting his rehab assignment, but he’s been able to hit and do defensive work. Outfielder Albert Almora (bruised left shoulder) was set to begin a rehab assignment Tuesday night, and infielder Luis Guillorme (right oblique strain) could be activated for the weekend.

McNeil was expected to be out until late June, but Rojas said he’s responded well to treatment and has been able to take grounders, run and swing the bat.

Despite their injuries, the Mets entered Tuesday night’s game at Baltimore with a 3 1/2-game lead in the NL East.

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