The good news for Nieuwenhuis and the Mets is that the outfielder avoided ligament damage. Still, he continued to walk with a heavy limp Monday, and he will be on a steady diet of anti-inflammatory medicine to help with his ailing knee.
Nieuwenhuis suffered his injury on a headfirst slide while stealing a base during Sunday's spring training contest against the Miami Marlins. He said after the game that the infield dirt felt like concrete.
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Nieuwenhuis indicated that there is not a set timeframe for his return, as his knee could require a few days or a week to heal. He will be reevaluated in a few days to determine how the injury is responding to medication. While he's happy there was no ligament damage, he's still frustrated that he'll have to miss time.
Rubin points out that Nieuwenhuis is no stranger to injuries. The outfielder battled an oblique injury last spring training, and his 2012 campaign was ended due to a partially torn plantar fascia in his right foot.
Nieuwenhuis made his major league debut with the Mets last season. In 91 games with the club, the 25-year-old hit .252/.315/.376 with 12 doubles and seven home runs over 314 plate appearances.