Beltran ready to return for Mets

BY foxsports • July 11, 2010

Carlos Beltran is back with the New York Mets and will return to the lineup immediately after the All-Star break.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel says Beltran will play center field and bat cleanup Thursday night in San Francisco. The five-time All-Star has been sidelined all season following right knee surgery in January.

Beltran, who had been on a rehab assignment with Class-A St. Lucie, returned to Citi Field on Sunday before New York's game against the Atlanta Braves. He said he's pain-free and ready to go, but he's not sure how rusty he'll be at the outset.

Beltran's return creates an intriguing issue for Manuel regarding playing time because switch-hitter Angel Pagan has excelled as the everyday center fielder in Beltran's absence.

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