Robinson Cano took 25 days to go through an entire game of the Mets.
The aggravation of his injury to the left quad on June 5 (he had initially forced it on May 22) against the Giants and an early exit made him aware that he was not ready. And during his period of re-education with Triple-A Syracuse, the injury remained in his mind, which he said was "the last thing" he wanted.
A hard double in straight line in the right field Sunday finally gave a positive message to Cano.
"After doing what I did today, I have confidence in myself," said Cano after the Mets' 4-3 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday at Citi Field.
The second-baseman scored one in three goals with one point and one setback, while the Mets missed an opportunity to separate from St. Louis. But Cano said he felt good about his performance in his first return match.
For the first time this season, Cano finished fifth, in contrast to its usual place. Manager Mickey Callaway explained that the decision to drag the 36-year-old into the typing order was a calculated decision, given the fact that Cano may need time to recover momentum and that 39, lack of starting training composed of Amed Rosario and Jeff McNeil holes left to fill.
But nothing in logistics mattered much to Cano.
"You're only going to hit the fifth inning of the first run, but after that, you do not know where you're going to hit," Cano told The Post. "For me, nothing changes. You are in training no matter where you hit. "
Cano added that he felt confident behind Dominic Smith, Davis, Davis, Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso. These four generated five hits in 15 bats.
As with McNeil, who spent time on the alliance earlier this season with a left hamstring strain, Callaway hopes to handle Cano's workload closely as he returns to 100%. McNeil, who played his last game on June 9 against the Rockies, is currently playing in day games following the night games. Callaway hopes to design a suitable schedule for Cano.
The eight players in the All-Star and Callaway series have not yet discussed how it will be managed.
"What we think of when we try to prepare all our players – obviously, you take into account the age – but you're just trying to put a good schedule together, a good plan together, a good [rehabilitation] together for everyone, to limit injuries as best as you can, "Callaway said.
Cano aims to face the Braves and Phillies, hoping that these two upcoming series, with a trip between the Cubs, will challenge the Mets and give them the opportunity to narrow the gap east of the NL .