Terry Collins knows there's a dilemma waiting when Jason Bay is healthy enough to return to the Mets.

But it sounds as if any choices Collins and the Mets may be forced to make then will be about how to get Kirk Nieuwenhuis playing time because Bay, who was finally cleared by doctors Tuesday to resume baseball activities after bruising his ribs April 23, is getting his left-field job back when he returns.

"Absolutely," Collins said Tuesday. "He didn't come here to be an extra player."