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 NEW YORK (AP) -Carlos Delgado is expected to miss the New York Mets' entire homestand, which would keep him out longer than the team's original estimate of a week to 10 days.
The first baseman has been sidelined since last Wednesday with a strained right hip flexor. He missed his fifth straight game Monday night, when the NL East leaders opened a three-game series against Atlanta.
The second-place Philadelphia Phillies arrive at Shea Stadium for a three-game set beginning Friday, and Mets manager Willie Randolph said it's ``safe to say'' Delgado won't be available for that series, either.
``It's going to be at least a good 10 days or so, maybe more,'' Randolph said.
Delgado has been receiving regular treatment and said he felt about the same Monday, ``a little better than when it happened.'' He said he was still a few days from resuming baseball activities.
``The key is to get to a point where you can play and don't have to think about it,'' Delgado said. ``We're not going to put a timetable on it.''
Delgado has endured a disappointing season, but he had started to come on at the plate when he got hurt. He is hitting .255 with 22 home runs and 80 RBIs.
The slugger hopes to be back in the lineup in time to get his timing back before a potential playoff series.
``We don't know until we go out there and test it. Right now it's just a little tender to the touch still,'' Delgado said. ``If you push it, obviously it hurts, but when you turn it just stretches a little bit, bites, whatever you want to call it.''
Delgado said no additional medical tests were planned.
``I'll be OK,'' he said. ``I want to have a positive attitude but I don't want to trick myself into doing something really stupid, which is going out there when you're not ready.''

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