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Mets' Schneider may miss start of season

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8:28 PM EDT, March 14, 2008


Catcher Brian Schneider confirmed Friday that his re-injured right hamstring is getting close to putting his participation in regular-season games in jeopardy.

Schneider has appeared in only three exhibition contests and has five at-bats. He last played Monday; it was after that game, while doing strengthening drills, that he felt his hamstring cramp up again.

"I don't see myself missing any time in the regular season, but that's something I don't know about," he said. "That's why I'm taking it as slow as possible right now, because we can."

Schneider is able to hit in the cage, catch bullpens and go through drills, but not run. And with Opening Day a little over two weeks away, it's getting worrisome, even if manager Willie Randolph says only that Schneider is "day-to-day."

Usually, day-to-day is if you could play Friday or Saturday, like second baseman Luis Castillo, who said Friday that he expects to make his exhibition debut Saturday. "Out-until-he's-able-to-run" seems more appropriate for Schneider.

"I've had it before, but it's nothing you want, obviously," he said. " ... It's frustrating, you know. It's almost like a cramp, a cramping feeling."

Asked if it is too early to think of a day for his return, Schneider said: "It is, because we're just waiting to see how it is when you come in that day and how the drills went the day before and how it reacts, and at the same time make sure everyone is on the same page as far as the coaching staff and training staff and clearing me to let me go out and do my thing."

Ramon Castro and non-roster players Robinson Cancel and Raul Casanova have been doing most of the catching.

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