Reyes' presence felt as he returns to Mets

Jose Reyes made an unsteady return to the New York lineup Saturday, with a base hit that nearly spurred a ninth-inning rally and an error at shortstop that nearly cost the Mets a run.

“I was a little anxious,” Reyes said after the Mets’ 4-3 loss to Washington.

He missed all but 36 games last year with a hamstring problem, then missed most of spring training with a hyperactive thyroid.

Hyperactive might be a good way to describe him in the clubhouse before the game.

Reyes bounced around the room with an enormous smile on his face, joking with anybody who stopped by his locker to wish him luck. After taking batting practice, he was greeted in the dugout by general manager Omar Minaya, who gave him a big hug.

“I was thinking about that this morning, it’s been almost a year – 11 months – since he’s been on the field,” Minaya said. “It’s nice to have him back.”

“There was a lot of nervous energy today, but Jose will settle in,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “It’s no problem for Jose, he’ll get into the rhythm just like everybody else. That’s how athletic he is. He’s athletic enough to catch up with the speed.”

Reyes hasn’t played since May 20 because of the injury.

Roberts to DL?

Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts was held out of Saturday night’s game against Toronto with an abdominal strain, an injury that could land the two-time All-Star on the 15-day disabled list.

Roberts was hurt Friday, when he stole second base in the first inning of a 7-6 loss to the Blue Jays. Roberts stayed in the game long enough to score, but did not return.

“He is better than he was (Friday),” manager Dave Trembley said Saturday. “It is right now day to day. I think I will have a better idea tomorrow of when he will be available to play.”

Asked if the injury could force Roberts onto the DL, Trembley said, “Right now, the good news for me is that it’s not as severe as we first thought. But I’m not able to tell you when he will play, and I’m not able to tell you if it is a DL or not a DL.”

Short hops

Boston’s Mike Lowell, who lost his job at third base to free agent Adrian Beltre this spring, said this could be his final season as a big leaguer. … Dodgers backup catcher Brad Ausmus is on the disabled list for the first time in his 17-year major-league career. The Dodgers made the move because Ausmus has a pinched nerve in his back. He’s expected to be sidelined only as long as the 15-day stint on the DL. … Yankees fifth starter Phil Hughes allowed one run and six hits over six innings in an extended spring training intrasquad game. It was the second and final extended spring game for Hughes, who will make his first start Thursday against the L.A. Angels.