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Wright eyes mid-May for 'my Spring Training'

Mets third baseman on track to begin workouts 7 months after back surgery
MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Committed to returning to the field despite his latest setback, David Wright will attend the Mets' Opening Day game against the Cardinals at Citi Field, before continuing his surgery rehabilitation in New York.

Back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins on Monday recommended that Wright, who has not participated in baseball activities since August, go eight more weeks without doing so. Though it is a setback for Wright, the Mets third baseman said he expected a 4-6-month recovery period upon undergoing a laminotomy to remove bone spurs, a ligament and a herniated disk from his lower back. On his new timeline, Wright can still conceivably start activities seven months post-surgery.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Committed to returning to the field despite his latest setback, David Wright will attend the Mets' Opening Day game against the Cardinals at Citi Field, before continuing his surgery rehabilitation in New York.

Back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins on Monday recommended that Wright, who has not participated in baseball activities since August, go eight more weeks without doing so. Though it is a setback for Wright, the Mets third baseman said he expected a 4-6-month recovery period upon undergoing a laminotomy to remove bone spurs, a ligament and a herniated disk from his lower back. On his new timeline, Wright can still conceivably start activities seven months post-surgery.

For now, he will undergo two weeks of physical therapy in California, then return to New York for Opening Day and his next stage of rehab. Once the eight-week period without baseball activities ends, Wright hopes to begin what he calls "my Spring Training" in mid-May.

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"I wish there was something I could do to speed it up, and I wish there was something else I could say, something to do to fix it so I can get back out there," Wright said. "But that's not the case and it's been certainly a long, tough road for me. But when the doctor says don't do anything for two months, you listen to him."

Although Wright and the Mets have been hesitant to provide timetables for his recovery the past two seasons, Wright mentioned this spring that he hoped to begin baseball activities before the Mets went north. When an advance in his physical therapy program left him feeling uncomfortable, he made an appointment with Dr. Watkins.

"I knew that things weren't going as well as I had hoped, just based on feel," Wright said. "We were trying to progress and it just seemed like the more we tried to put on my plate, the worse that my body was responding."

Video: Wright shelved for at least eight more weeks

Now 35 years old, Wright has three years and $47 million remaining on his contract, of which an insurance company is paying 75 percent. While Wright's latest setback makes a return before midseason almost impossible, he remains optimistic that a comeback could happen this season. Diagnosed with spinal stenosis in May 2015, Wright has appeared in just 75 games since that time, undergoing neck, shoulder and back surgeries.

"As far as the time period goes, it certainly wasn't positive news," Wright said. "But I guess the news could have been worse."

Mets Spring Training info

Injury updates
• In addition to an X-ray, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes received a cortisone injection for his sore right wrist, the Mets announced Wednesday. Cespedes remains day-to-day as he waits for the medication to take effect, but Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Cespedes is not at risk of missing Opening Day.

• Reliever Anthony Swarzak reported no issues after completing a two-inning simulated game. Sidelined since Feb. 27 due to a strained left calf, Swarzak will return to Grapefruit League action by this weekend.

Camp cuts
The Mets completed their first wave of roster cuts with seven more on Wednesday morning, demoting pitchers Chris Flexen and Tyler Bashlor, infielders Peter Alonso and David Thompson, outfielders Zach Borenstein and Kevin Kaczmarski, and catcher Patrick Mazeika. Forty-four players remain in big league camp.

Camp battles
Rafael Montero continues to do himself no favors as he looks to make the Opening Day bullpen. Coming into camp on solid footing due to his lack of Minor League options, Montero has posted a 10.50 ERA with five walks in six innings. He faced seven batters Wednesday, retiring just one of them.

"It looked like he pitched away from contact again," Callaway said. "He's going to have to overcome that to pitch in the big leagues. That's one of the hardest things to overcome when you're a young guy trying to get up there and show yourself at the big league level, but he's going to have to do that to be able to stay."

Up next
Matt Harvey hopes to rebound from his worst outing of the spring when he takes the mound for a 1:10 p.m. ET game Thursday against the Marlins (watch live on MLB.TV). Also scheduled to appear is closer Jeurys Familia, who has not pitched since complaining of arm soreness following a March 8 outing.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, David Wright