At the end of Spring Training, Carlos Beltran said that he wanted to begin running exercises in Port St. Lucie, Florida on April 10 and rejoin the Mets by at least early May, but three weeks after Beltran’s self-imposed deadline, he is still not close to returning to the lineup.

According to the New York Daily News, Beltran was fitted for a custom knee brace last week, which he hoped would help accelerate his rehabilitation.

That occurred during an April 20 visit to the Steadman-Hawkins clinic in Vail, Colorado, where the center fielder underwent knee surgery in January.

The Vail visit was more significant for what Beltran did not get: his medical clearance to begin running. In fact, the Mets have said many times as of late they do not know when Beltran will take that important next step.

While April 10 was never a hard deadline, April 29 and counting is surely a disappointment for the team that seems to be having success without him.

Beltran’s stubborn agent, Scott Boras, has not responded to multiple requests for comment about the outfielder’s status. Boras negotiated a seven-year, $119 million contract for Beltran in January of 2005, and the deal expires after next season.

At this moment, any attempt to pinpoint a possible return for Beltran is based purely on speculation. Given the slow process of his rehab thus far, it is fair to consider a June return would be an optimistic guess.

It is not clear as of yet whether Beltran is considering further surgery that could threaten his season or career.

The Mets have been having great success so far by winning seven consecutive games and moving into first place in the NL East.

Doing so without Beltran is impressive, but I would bet that the Mets would rather have the expensive five-time All-Star in center field—yet it does not seem as though that wish will be fulfilled anytime soon.

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