Tim Teufel has just spent his morning knocking grounders to infielders on a back field at the Mets minor league complex, helping a group of early spring arrivals that includes Ike Davis. After watching his first baseman glide right, left, forward and backward, the coach walks away smiling.

“From what I just saw, compared even to the end of last year, he’s back to where he used to be,” Teufel says on his way back to the clubhouse. “His first-step quickness, being able to push off.

“He’s moving around a lot better.”

Everyone knows how Davis fared offensively in the first half of last season; after missing a year with a serious ankle injury, he stunk. But one forgotten element of his long recovery was Davis’ defense, which according to fielding metrics, had greatly diminished from his rookie year.

When he arrived as a rookie, Davis was a power hitter, but also a defensive highlight machine, even developing a signature foul ball-snaring dive over the dugout railing. After bruising a bone in his ankle in a May 2011 collision with David Wright, he was slower in the field, a result of both caution and lingering pain.

“I was just a little unathletic (in 2012),” Davis admits now. “Basically, my ankle was dead. It wasn’t like it was hurting. It wasn’t aching. It was just the quickness on my first step. I wasn’t able to run. I kind of lost my . . .”