NEW YORK -- After keeping a clean bill of health throughout this season, Mets reliever Jason Isringhausen will be out for at least a few days with a herniated disk in his back that has been bothering him for a while, he said Thursday.

The pinched nerve leads to Isringhausen's right foot, which has begun to feel tingly and numb when he keeps it straight and tries to push off of it.

"It's just been festering for a while and then we finally got it checked out today," Isringhausen said. "It's finally gotten to the point where my foot's kind of numb, so it's time to take a few days off. Now's the time to do it, we have the extra guys now."

Isringhausen, who turned 39 on Wednesday, has thrown 46 2/3 innings this season, his highest total since 2007. In those innings, he's been a boon to the bullpen, posting a 4.05 ERA and counseling the team's younger arms. Though Isringhausen has already achieved his preseason goal of notching his 300th career save, he seemed confident he would return to the mound before season's end.

"It's a nerve thing, so we don't know how fired up it is, so it may take longer than I think to calm down," Isringhausen said. "The doctors said we have to be careful with it because then it can turn into a multiple months period thing trying to get it to calm down, so we just have to be a little careful with it."

Despite the recent setback, Isringhausen said he's been encouraged by his health this season, especially the way his troublesome right arm has held up. Once thought a long shot to make it through this season, Isringhausen said he's planning to pitch in the Majors again next year.

"If I can still throw, there's no reason why I shouldn't be doing this," Isringhausen said. "This is what I love to do. Barring something that happens between now and February, unless my wife tells me no, then I plan on pitching again."

Collins giving players breather in twin bill

NEW YORK -- With the Mets past the 140-game mark this season, manager Terry Collins is using Thursday's doubleheader as a chance to get some of his players a breather.

Shortstop Jose Reyes sat out Game 1 against the Braves, while third baseman David Wright, center fielder Angel Pagan and left fielder Jason Bay will likely be held out of the nightcap.

""There's fatigue right now on the club," Collins said. "We're tired, there are some tired guys."

Collins said he has noticed his players are worn out lately in the way they are less talkative when he comes out for mound visits, noting that Tuesday's rain-delayed, extra-inning victory against Florida was particularly draining for his players.

While he said that members of the team are both physically and mentally exhausted, Collins said he's confident the team is playing its hardest and not giving away any easy outs at the plate.

"Our guys, they have approached this whole season as professionally as they possibly can," Collins said. "That's why sometimes when you look at a guy, he'll swing at a first pitch and he'll pop it up and you'll say, 'Well, he just gave that at-bat away.' It's unintentional. Certainly the thought process isn't, 'I just want to get out of here and move on. Let's get to the next inning.' I don't think that's the case at all here."

Worth noting

• Mets vice president for media relations Jay Horwitz is on the figurative disabled list with a broken right ankle, suffered after stepping in a hole he thought was a puddle on his way to work Thursday morning. The swelling in the ankle is so severe he cannot have surgery until Monday, at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. The injury will also cause Horwitz to miss his first Mets games since 1990, and Thursday's absence will be just his fourth since coming to the Mets in '80. Mets first baseman Ike Davis stayed with Horwitz at the hospital, and other members of the team are expected to visit with him over the weekend.

In addition, director of media relations Shannon Forde is on crutches after spraining her left ankle.

• Davis was examined Thursday at the Hospital for Special Surgery, where doctors confirmed that he will not need surgery on his injured left ankle. Davis had told the media Monday he would almost definitely not need surgery.

• Johan Santana will start Friday for Class A Savannah in Game 2 of the Sand Gnats' South Atlantic League playoff series. Santana has missed the entire season for the Mets recovering from surgery on his left shoulder last September. This will be his third Minor League start this year and his second since resuming his throwing program after being shut down due to shoulder fatigue in early August.