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Wright diagnosed with spinal stenosis

Mets third baseman has been experiencing lower back pain for a few weeks

PITTSBURGH -- Mets third baseman David Wright's rehab has been dealt another blow after he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column.

Wright will cease baseball activities and take medication for the next week, while continuing a program of core strengthening and back stabilization exercises. The Mets believe it will be enough to eliminate the flare-ups of lower back tightness that Wright has recently been experiencing. They do not consider Wright's condition degenerative, according to assistant general manager John Ricco.

"The doctors aren't that worried about it," Ricco said. "It's just something that seems to be taking longer than we initially thought. The way it was progressing, they thought it would be gone by now."

Wright, 32, initially landed on the disabled list April 15 with a right hamstring strain. During his rehab from that injury, back discomfort sidelined him first in early May, then again this weekend.

"We'd like to have him back," Ricco said. "We want to have him back. But we want to have him back as the player that he is when he's healthy."

Health has not come easy for Wright over the past five seasons. After avoiding the disabled list altogether over the first seven years of his career, averaging 156 games per season from 2005-10, Wright has since appeared in just 126 games per year. He made significant changes to his diet and workout regimens this winter, working extensively with the organization's new fitness consultant, Mike Barwis.

With Wright's timeline once again delayed, Ricco said the team could consider moving Daniel Murphy back to third base, where he played until rookie second baseman Dilson Herrera's fractured finger made that arrangement illogical. A move back to third for Murphy would theoretically result in a big league promotion for Matt Reynolds, but the middle infielder and No. 12 Mets prospect is batting just .175 with zero extra-base hits over his last 14 games at Triple-A Las Vegas.

Since Herrera landed on the DL, Eric Campbell has been playing every day at third base with limited success, entering Saturday's play in an 0-for-15 slump.

"We've obviously been faced with a bunch of injuries this year and we're just continuing to take the same kind of look at this," Ricco said. "When we get David back, hopefully it will be sooner rather than later and we'll be better for it."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.
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