Mets OF Michael Conforto, who hit two home runs on Wednesday while playing in simulated games in Port St. Lucie, said afterwards that he is "hoping" to return before the original May 1 target date.
"I'm starting to feel comfortable," he said. "We're getting there."
"It's not so much about the shoulder anymore," Conforto explained, adding that it's now about getting used to full game action.
Conforto recently returned to game action and is slated to play the field during a minor league game on Thursday, but will not play in a Grapefruit League game before the Mets break camp.
The targeted return date for Conforto has been May 1, though he said earlier this offseason that he's ahead of schedule. And his rapid progression this spring suggests he can beat the May 1 date.
Conforto dislocated his shoulder toward the end of last season, which required surgery to repair the posterior capsule last Aug. 24. The initial diagnosis was that it would require at least a six-month recovery.
In Conforto's absence, the Mets are expected to have Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Nimmo or Juan Lagares, and Jay Bruce in the outfield from left to right.
When Conforto returns, the expectation is that he will play center field.