Daniel Murphy, the second baseman who has spent most of spring working to return from an oblique injury, needs to play in a game this week if he wants to suit up opening day.

"If he’s not back in a game, you’re down to seven days," Collins said after Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. "That’s not a lot of time to get somebody who hasn’t done anything all spring ready."

Murphy played five innings of defense in a minor league game Friday, but sat out Saturday and Sunday while dealing with stiffness. He took a few swings Sunday, but did not do any other baseball activities.

If Murphy cannot go, the Mets will give Jordany Valdespin a shot at second. The Mets were looking at Valdespin as an outfielder, but now have a more pressing need at second base.

Valdespin homered in the first inning of Sunday’s game, his fourth home run of spring.