The outfielder underwent two separate surgeries between August and October last year to remove bone calcification in his heels. He discussed his potential return Friday at spring training.
"I do feel like I will return. ... It may be three months, it may be two months, it may be one month, but at this point, I do think I can return," Cespedes said, according to ESPN. "When I do return, I plan on being 100 percent, like I was in 2015."
Cespedes became an instant sensation in New York after the club acquired him from the Detroit Tigers at the 2015 non-waiver trade deadline. He helped his new team to a berth in the World Series and earned a four-year, $110-million contract with the Mets.
The 33-year-old has produced solid numbers when on the field but his health has been an issue; he's only appeared in 119 games since the beginning of the 2017 season because of injuries. He hopes the two surgeries in 2018 will help alleviate the pain that has previously hampered him.
"I can't even say at the moment that I'm at 50 percent, but when I used to wake up (pre-surgery), I would struggle walking," Cespedes explained. "But now, even at this stage of the rehab, I can definitely walk without any pain."
The Mets apparently planned to be without him for 2019. Omar Minaya, the special assistant to the general manager, said in early January there was no clear timetable for the slugger's return and that the organization would be happy to get anything out of him this season.
New York currently projects to start the regular season with four capable outfielders in Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Juan Lagares, and Keon Broxton. Jeff McNeil is also taking outfield reps during spring training.