PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Noticeably upbeat about his short- and long-term future, David Wright returned to Mets camp on Thursday optimistic that he will return to active duty before long."If this is the most adversity I'm going to have to face in my life," Wright said, "it's not that
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Noticeably upbeat about his short- and long-term future, David Wright returned to Mets camp on Thursday optimistic that he will return to active duty before long.
"If this is the most adversity I'm going to have to face in my life," Wright said, "it's not that bad in the grand scheme of things."
Though Wright would not put a timeframe on his return to throwing, he did not dispute doctors' recommendations that he rest completely for at least two weeks. Because the third baseman has an impingement in his right shoulder, he must strengthen the joint through rehab and physical therapy before attempting to return to a full slate of baseball activities.
"There's not really a timeframe on it," Wright said. "It's when it gets right."
In retrospect, Wright said, he knew something was wrong from the moment he began attempting to throw in Florida. But he could not discern whether the issue was simply rust from having gone more than half a year without throwing, or if it was something more sinister. After undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck last June, Wright did not attempt to throw a baseball again until mid-February, which is when his symptoms -- namely, weakness and instability in the shoulder -- began flaring.
"When you have that major neck surgery that I had, I certainly wasn't expecting problems to come with it," Wright said. "But ultimately, I guess you'd be a little naive to think everything was going to be smooth sailing after a major neck surgery. It's just, as far as I'm concerned, a little bump in the road. I'll give everything I have to the rehab, and hopefully be out there helping my teammates as soon as possible."
"He's frustrated," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "But he's going to fight the fight. He's got to go through the process. ... As you know, he's a grinder. Always has been, always will be. And he'll do what he has to do to get back. If you told me I'd have a healthy David Wright for five months starting May 1, I'll take it."
Asked if he could conceivably be ready for Opening Day, Wright replied that he did not know. The Mets are not counting on him, preparing Jose Reyes to be their Opening Day third baseman in his stead.
But this latest setback has not dimmed Wright's desire to continue playing -- particularly not with the Mets boasting a strong chance to make a postseason run again in 2017. Wright still has four full seasons and $67 million guaranteed on his contract.
"I still enjoy what I do," he said. "It's not like I dread coming to the ballpark. I have a lot of fun coming to the ballpark. And yeah, it stinks to have to rehab and it stinks to have a couple major injuries the last few years. But at the end of the day, I love taking the field. And if I can do this rehab and put in this time to get back on the field and do what I love doing, then it's well worth it in my mind."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.