Jason Bay unlikely to return for at least another two weeks

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Bad news for the middle of the Mets’ projected lineup.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said this afternoon that Jason Bay is unlikely to return from the disabled list until at least April 26 against the Nationals.

“I think it’s unrealistic to expect him before then,” Alderson said.

Bay is currently rehabbing from a strained left intercostal muscle near his ribcage and has just begun swinging a bat in Florida. When Bay initially suffered the injury at the tail-end of spring training, the Mets hoped he would be able to return this past Saturday.

The Mets sent down Lucas Duda following Sunday’s loss to the Nationals, so Willie Harris figures to get most of the playing time in left field for now.