NEW YORK -- When the Mets flew north from Florida on Thursday evening, they left only a small portion of their roster behind. Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler stayed in Port St. Lucie to throw a few last tune-up innings. Injured outfielder Brandon Nimmo settled in for rehab.But David Wright,
NEW YORK -- When the Mets flew north from Florida on Thursday evening, they left only a small portion of their roster behind. Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler stayed in Port St. Lucie to throw a few last tune-up innings. Injured outfielder Brandon Nimmo settled in for rehab.
But David Wright, injured shoulder and all, caught the jet to LaGuardia. Once considered a borderline option for Opening Day, Wright is now unlikely to return at any point in April. And even though he can't participate in Opening Day for the first time in 13 years, he wasn't about to miss it.
"Obviously, it will be disappointing," said Wright, who has been on a strengthening program since doctors diagnosed him with a right shoulder impingement late last month. "But when I think about it, there's nothing more that I could possibly to do get ready. It would be one thing if I could look back and say, 'I regret doing this,' or, 'I regret not doing that.' But that's just not the case."
Wright still has not attempted to throw a baseball since doctors shut him down in February, and may not do so for another two weeks. He is also still dealing with spinal stenosis, a back condition that will affect him for the rest of his life.
Wright has not played in a game since undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck last June, though he believes his patience will ultimately prove worthwhile. Once Wright begins throwing, he expects a relatively rapid ascension into game shape, considering he has been hitting and taking ground balls regularly in Port St. Lucie.
"The mindset I need to have now," Wright said, "is just do what I can to get back on the field as soon as possible."
Still, it will be painful for Wright to miss Opening Day for the first time since 2004, when -- at age 21 -- he did not make the team out of Spring Training. When Wright toes the first-base foul line Monday as an inactive player, the team captain is sure to receive a bittersweet ovation.
"Of course it's nice that I'm going to be out on the field Opening Day, but I want to be out there playing," Wright said. "The next time I get up there, I want to be up there playing -- not watching."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.