New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso is back in the lineup after sustaining a bone bruise and sprain in his left wrist — injuries that were expected to sideline him for three to four weeks.
He spent the minimum 10 days on the injured list before being activated on Sunday to play first base against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field.
The Mets placed him in the cleanup spot, making room by optioning infielder Mark Vientos to Triple-A Syracuse.
Alonso was injured on June 7 during a game against the Atlanta Braves when he was hit by a 97-mph fastball from Charlie Morton. He returned to the dugout a few innings later with his wrist wrapped.
It appears the speedy return was an unlikely strike of luck for the Mets. According to Alonso, his body just responded well to the team’s treatment of his injury.
Dealing with the bone bruise came down to pain management, and Alonso told reporters Sunday that he had been able to swing without extreme discomfort for a couple of days.
He shutdown questions about any potential limitations on Sunday.
“No, I’m playing. Full go. Yeah, full go,” he said.
Before his injury, Alonso was was batting .231/.326/.546 with a National League-leading 49 RBI and an MLB-leading 22 home runs.
On Saturday, Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani hit his 23rd home run, moving one ahead of Alonso for the major-league lead.
While one could joke that losing the season accolade worked as a motivator for Alonso, Mets manager Buck Showalter said it’s in the nature of his players.
“I think it’s a culture — these guys take a lot of pride in posting up and being there for their teammates,” he said.
The Mets haven’t won a series since completing a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies on June 1, going 3-5 in the eight games Alonso missed.
This story will be updated.