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HOUSTON — Jeff McNeil has learned to listen to his body.
After he dealt with cramping during the 2021 season, McNeil eventually landed on the injured list with a left hamstring injury five days after the first warning sign.
When McNeil felt some tightness in his right hamstring after scoring on a wild pitch during Monday's victory over the Marlins, he knew he needed to exit the game to avoid further injury.
"I’ve definitely gone through some stuff in the past," McNeil said. "I know my body very well too so I knew it was something I needed to come out of the game for, just to be real safe and not make it worse than it is. I’ve done that before.
"I know my body, I know how to play through these types of things, as well, so it shouldn’t be a problem."
McNeil said an Monday's MRI was clean and he is considered day-to-day. He was out of the lineup on Tuesday night against the Astros in the front half of a quick two-game turnaround.
The Mets second baseman, who leads the team with a .327 batting average and .386 on-base percentage, said he was hoping that he could be available in a pinch-hitting role in the series.
"I’m not sure how I’m going to feel once I get it loose and ready to go," McNeil said. "I could be available depending on how the game’s going. We do have a off day Thursday, which is nice and then we can see where it is on Friday. Hopefully I’ll be available these two days to possibly pinch hit."
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Buck Showalter said he spoke with McNeil three or four times since the injury and told him to continue to keep him aware if anything shows up in the future.
"I know it’s real important," McNeil said. "I know they can trust me. I know my body extremely well. When I’m feeling something, they’re going to be very cautious about it. I know they trust me, which is a good thing."
McNeil said the training staff tests players' hamstring strength before the season, so he will be looking to get back to those early season numbers on his way back.
Hands on deck
The Mets also seemed to avoid something potentially serious on Monday after X-rays came back negative on J.D. Davis' finger.
Davis was hit in the left pinkie finger on a pitch from the Marlins' Tommy Nance. After spiking his bat in clear pain, Davis remained in the game.
After testing the strength in his hand prior to batting practice, Davis was in the lineup as the Mets' designated hitter and batting eighth.
Davis was a third-round pick by the Astros in the 2014 MLB Draft, spending five seasons in their organization including his major-league callup in 2017.
"I don’t think you understand when J.D. comes back and plays the Astros, it’s kind of where he grew up in professional baseball early on," Showalter said. "You try to put yourself in the other guys’ shoes and think about what they’re thinking and keep those conversations going."
More good news
The Mets' injury report is due to be condensed in the near future.
Max Scherzer, who is working back from an oblique strain, made a rehab start for Class AA Binghamton on Tuesday night, throwing to James McCann, who is returning from a broken hamate bone in his left wrist.
Scherzer threw 65 pitches across 3⅓ innings for the Rumble Ponies, striking out six and giving up two earned runs on three hits and one walk.
It was McCann's fourth game for Binghamton, and his return behind the plate could be right around the corner. Showalter said the earliest date for a return would be on Friday in Miami.
"Mac just isn't quite there," Showalter said. "He's close. He's trying to get some of that last little soreness that he feels the next day out of there. He's got a lot of trauma there."
The Mets will wait to see how Scherzer feels in the days following his outing to determine his next step.
Meanwhile, Travis Jankowski, who has been out since May 27 when he fractured his fourth metacarpal in his left hand, was cleared to resume baseball activities on Tuesday.
Andrew Tredinnick is the Mets beat writer for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all Mets analysis, news, trades and more, please subscribe today and download our app.
Email: email@example.com Twitter: @andrew_tred
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Jeff McNeil: Serious injury avoided by leaving Mets game Monday