Even After Kirk Niewenhuis partially tore the plantar fascia in his right foot running to first base in an Aug. 3 game with Triple-A Buffalo, Mets officials eyed a return to the majors in September, after rosters expanded. So did Nieuwenhuis.

Nieuwenhuis’ right foot did not cooperate, though. And after bidding for a return into September at the Mets’ Florida complex, Nieuwenhuis was forced to shut things down for the winter without reappearing in the majors.

“When I went back to the doctor toward the end of August, it kind of caught me off guard,” Nieuwenhuis said. “He was like, ‘These things take a lot of time when you’re running. You can do other things pretty well.’

“I was walking around fine. I just wasn’t able to run. I was able to do everything. Hitting. Nothing bothered it. Just running. I pushed it as hard as I could. I tried everything. I must have tried three or four different orthotics -- anything-and-everything kind of treatment to make it tolerable. But it just never got to that point. I just kind of ran out of time. It was tough. It was slower than I thought it was going to be to heal, for sure. I thought it was going to be a few weeks and right back at it.”

The lefty-hitting Nieuwenhuis is fine now, and will not even require wearing an orthotic.

Nieuwenhuis, 25, is projected to open the season platooning in center field with righty-hitting Collin Cowgill.