- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - Carlos Beltran left the New York Mets’ game against Milwaukee on Tuesday night with pain in his right knee, the same one he had surgery on last offseason.

The All-Star center fielder was removed after five innings. He said he felt pain in his knee while taking a lead off first base after reaching on an error in the fourth.

Beltran will have tests Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

“Honestly, in my heart, I don’t feel like I have to worry,” he said. “I feel something. I don’t know what it is. But you know, after being back and being able to play all these games, I didn’t feel anything until today. So let’s see what happens.”

Beltran missed the first half of the season recovering from surgery in January to clean out the arthritic area of his right knee. He is batting .255 with seven homers and 27 RBIs in 218 at-bats.

“Any pain in this knee, I have to let the trainers know that I feel something,” Beltran said. “This is something that I have to be careful, I have to be smart about it.”

The Mets were long ago eliminated from the playoff race, but they must determine this offseason whether Beltran can be a productive starter for them next year.

The switch-hitter has one season remaining on the $119 million, seven-year contract he signed with the Mets before 2005, and the team probably would have to eat some of his salary in order to trade him.

Beltran hit two homers and made a diving catch in his previous game, a 7-3 victory Sunday in Philadelphia.

“I think at this time of the year, if he feels anything, you don’t need to push it,” Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey said. “He needs to be healthy in order for us to do anything.”

Beltran said the pain was in a different spot than last year, when it bothered him just to walk. He said it had subsided by the time the game was over.

“We expected him to have flare-ups and this is the first one he had,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “I noticed one ball to left-center, his gait looked a little different to me.”

When Beltran left New York’s 4-3 victory over the Brewers, Jesus Feliciano moved from right field to center, and left fielder Nick Evans shifted to right. Lucas Duda was inserted in left field and batted in Beltran’s No. 3 spot.

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