Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard (strained right index finger) will continue to play catch Friday before hopefully advancing to the next step in his return, manager Mickey Callaway said.
The next step for Syndergaard would likely be a bullpen session, followed by a rehab start.
Syndergaard resumed his throwing program on Monday and increased his throwing distance on Tuesday.
"I would venture to say it's not going to be a long, drawn-out process," Callaway added.
Syndergaard had been slated to return from the DL to start last Sunday against the Yankees, but was scratched from that start before receiving a second opinion on his injury.
"Nothing else has happened," Mets GM Sandy Alderson said on a conference call last Tuesday. "We want to make sure the next step that we take and he takes is the right one. And this type of injury is a little bit unusual. It happens to pitchers. Typically it happens on their middle finger and not the index finger. ... that's why we want to be careful. It's not like he can suffer a permanent injury that can be career-threatening, but we want to make sure he's not out for any longer than he needs to be."
The 25-year-old Syndergaard threw a season-low 78 pitches in his last start on May 25, when he allowed three runs and six hits in six innings.
He has a 3.06 ERA iand 1.17 WHIP in 11 starts this season, striking out 76 batters in 64.2 innings.