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Mets easing Wright back into game action

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets are hoping less is more now that they are in their fourth week of spring camp. They have limited the work of David Wright and Daniel Murphy, in particular, because both have been troubled in recent camps by oblique injuries.

Neither played in game situations until Thursday, when they batted but played no defense. Each is likely to start against the Cardinals on Friday.

"Spring Training is so long. It's really for the pitchers' benefit," Wright said Thursday after he produced two singles and a home run in six at-bats against teammates Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese and Bobby Parnell. "[Manager] Terry [Collins] approached me during the offseason and kind of told me, 'Don't be surprised if in Spring Training I slow you down a little bit and push you back.'

"I felt like I got good work in today. These kinds of 'games' we have help me more than playing in a week of games. I felt I'm more prepared now than I have been in recent Spring Trainings to enter games, and I think I'll get a little more out of it. I wouldn't be able to get the [necessary pregame] work in if I were playing in games. I faced some of the Minor League pitchers this past week. I faced Bobby a few times. And then, I got a chance to go work on things that I think are beneficial to me.

Wright is well aware of the issues he's had in past springs.

"The last couple of years I've had those oblique injuries," he said. "So to kind of slow it up this year, to kind of take those baby steps before ramping it up, I think helps me out. On top of that, I've really missed three-quarters of Spring Training the last two years. And I've felt like I've been prepared to start the season."

Marty Noble is a reporter for

New York Mets, David Wright