CHICAGO -- Michael Conforto rejoined the New York Mets on Monday after a three-week stint in the minors. He may have returned as the teams primary center fielder.With Yoenis Cespedes expressing a desire to solely play left field for the remainder of the season, manager Terry Collins plans to have Conforto begin taking fly balls in center field.Collins said it makes sense to restrict Cespedes to left field because that is less taxing on his legs than center field. And keeping Cespedes bat in the lineup is the priority. Cespedes returned to the starting lineup on Sunday after an eight-day absence while resting a strained right quadriceps muscle.Were taxing his body pretty heavily by putting him in center field, Collins said. And we need him to hit. We need him to hit, and hit a lot. I just think if hes in left field where hes comfortable, and theres not so much emphasis on the defensive side, that hell go back and do what we hope he can do -- and thats be a big production guy.Conforto said he worked out in center field while at Oregon State, although he appeared in no games at that position in college. He exclusively had played left field as a professional ballplayer until this month, when he started four games in right field with Triple-A Las Vegas.Collins had planned for Conforto to begin seeing action in center field with the Pacific Coast League club on Monday, but general manager Sandy Alderson elected to instead promote Conforto to the majors for the series opener against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. So Confortos center-field acclimation will need to occur on the fly in the majors.Ill be an athlete, Ill go make plays and do whatever I can if they need me out there, Conforto said.Assuming he shows any aptitude, Conforto could begin handling center field against right-handed pitching -- flanked by Cespedes and Curtis Granderson -- as soon as the weekend at Marlins Park. Collins said his preference is not to use the 35-year-old Granderson in center field. Granderson has started 1,075 games at that position, but he has not been a full-time center fielder since 2012 with the New York Yankees.I think thats asking a lot, Collins said.Juan Lagares will continue to start in center field against left-handed pitching, as is the case Monday night against Chicago Cubs southpaw Jon Lester. Lagares may see some time in center field against right-handers, but Conforto did not return to the majors to sit, so those opportunities for Lagares should be limited.Because Wrigley Field has a relatively compact outfield and Conforto had no time to tune up, Collins initially planned to have Cespedes start Tuesday in center field against the Cubs. But after Cespedes patrolled left field conservatively in Mondays series opener, Collins huddled with outfield coach Tom Goodwin postgame and the manager indicated he may just leave Cespedes in the corner. Regardless, Cespedes will not remain in center field once the Mets move on to Miami for their next series, Collins pledged.Meanwhile, Conforto returns to the Mets with more confidence at the plate.Rookie outfielder Brandon Nimmo was demoted to clear the roster spot for Conforto, who hit .344 with three homers and 15 RBIs in 61 Triple-A at-bats. Conforto had been in an 8-for-75 rut before his June 25 demotion.I think there was a period of obviously being upset, Conforto said about the demotion. Youve got to go through that. ... Looking back on it, I think I got a little pull-happy. I think that was pretty clear. I think I really wanted to cover that inside corner, which was a spot I was having trouble with. And I think that took over a little bit. I didnt realize that would take away from my ability to go the other way. But I think it did a little bit.I just worked on trying to stay through the ball, worked on using my lower half a little bit better, getting my weight shifted a little bit further back just to start in my stance. I was kind of front-heavy there for a little bit. So when I went down, that was the first thing that the guys down there said. Demarcus Robinson Jersey . 9. 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Having already announced that the race will start May 9 with three stages in Northern Ireland and Ireland and finish in Trieste on June 1, the rest of the route was unveiled Monday. LAS VEGAS -- Sergey Kovalev was knocking out everyone put in front of him when his handlers went to HBO a few years back asking for a coveted spot on one of the networks boxing shows.Not so fast, the network said.You got two problems with this guy, promoter Kathy Duva remembers an HBO executive saying. One, hes a light heavyweight. Two, hes a Russian.Two problems, indeed. The combination isnt particularly attractive to boxing fans, or the network that buys many of the biggest fights.But on Saturday, it doesnt matter that Kovalev is a champion at light heavyweight, a division that historically has gotten little respect. Not when hes got unbeaten Andre Ward in front of him in a classic slugger vs. boxer matchup that is perhaps the most anticipated fight of the year.And the Russian part? Well, it helps that Kovalev now lives most of the year in Los Angeles and has quickly picked up the English language.I learned English only with reporters, he said this week, displaying a gift for gab in his new language with a small group of boxing scribes.Seven years after coming to the United States to seek fame and fortune, Kovalev is on the brink of both. A devastating puncher who has not lost in 31 fights, he will try to do what no one has done in 20 years -- win a fight against Ward, the last American man to win boxing gold in the Olympics.If the fight isnt compelling enough, Kovalevs story should be enough for some to pony up the $64.95 to watch it at home. His Russian fans will get the fight free, with the nations Channel 1 lined up to broadcast the bout live in his home country.America gave me opportunity. Its two great countries for me, Kovalev said. I love both countries, which is why I have two houses, in Russia and America.Kovalev comes from a fighting family, though he is the only one to actually put on gloves and do it in the ring. His mother, he says, used to beat up people as a child in Chelyabinsk, a factory town, where she works in a liquid metals plant.My mother fought a lot of times on the street growing up, even with boys, he said. She grew up in poor area.Kovalev grew up poor, too, with the family of five living in two rooms of a three-room apartment they shared with an unrelated elderly woman. He fought in the amateurs, though he neever got a shot at making the Russian Olympic boxing team, before deciding to come to the U.ddddddddddddS. and turn pro.Hooking up with Egis Klimas, a Lithuanian immigrant who now manages a number of Russian and Eastern European fighters, he fought for a few dollars here and there in tiny places he describes as garages.Kovalev was undefeated in 17 fights but still a relative unknown when he returned home to face Roman Simakov in a fight that turned tragic. Kovalev stopped Simakov in the seventh round of the December 2011 fight, and Simakov fell into a coma and later died.The death devastated Kovalev, and it might have unraveled his career like it has other fighters who have killed men in the ring. He would later reach out to try to take care of Simakovs family, but the pain still lingers to a point he rarely will talk about the fateful night.Kovalevs big break came when he was signed by Duvas Main Events promotional company. Duva would get the HBO dates she sought in that first meeting, and it didnt take long for the boxer they call Krusher to become a regular on the network.He dominated the ancient but still crafty Bernard Hopkins in 2014, forcing him into retirement, at least temporarily. And two knockout wins over Canadas Jean Pascal in Montreal cemented his status as the best 175-pounder in the world.Now he takes on Ward, the former 168-pound champion who has fought only three times in the last three years. Bookies in this gambling town make Ward, a defensive specialist and extraordinary boxer, a slight favorite, but Kovalev believes he will prevail.He doesnt have a punch like Mike Tyson, but hes very smart and has good defense, Kovalev says. Its not dangerous, but hes a tough target. He does very smart things in the ring.Kovalev has been doing some smart things, too. Perhaps none smarter than taking a chance and coming to the U.S. with nothing in his pocket and only his dreams.I love this country, he said. Im very comfortable with the people and the boxing in America.---Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlbeg(at)ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg Cheap Adidas Hockey Jerseys Wholesale College Jerseys Cheap Nike Basketball Jerseys Cheap Football Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Baseball Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Jerseys From China Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Nike NBA Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Authentic Cheap MLB Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Soccer Jerseys China Cheap NCAA Jerseys China Stitched NFL Jerseys Cheap Custom Jerseys China Cheap Basketball Jerseys Authentic NFL Jerseys China Cheap College Jerseys Wholesale Football Jerseys ' ' '