PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — After yet another medical setback that will stretch his layoff from the major leagues past two years, New York Mets captain David Wright hopes to start baseball workouts in May.
Dr. Robert Watkins examined the 35-year-old third baseman in Los Angeles on Monday and said he should not participate in baseball activities for two months because of back and shoulder issues.
"it certainly wasn't positive news. I guess the news could have been worse," Wright said during a telephone news conference Wednesday. "The goal would be to take these eight weeks — and it's not like I have to be idle for eight weeks — and kind of focus on the actual rehab and kind of forget about doing some stuff and progress to baseball stuff."
New York also said star left fielder Yoenis Cespedes had a cortisone injection in his injured right wrist. The 32-year-old was hurt while swinging in a game on March 6.
A seven-time All-Star, Wright has been limited to 75 regular-season games during the past three years. He was on the disabled list from April 15 to Aug. 24, 2015, when he strained his right hamstring and then developed spinal stenosis.
He returned as the Mets won their first NL pennant since 2000 but has not played for them since May 27, 2016. Watkins operated that June 16 to repair a herniated disk in Wright's neck. After Wright's minor league rehabilitation assignment was ended after three games last year due to shoulder pain, he had surgery Sept. 5 to repair his right rotator cuff, and Watkins performed a laminotomy in early October in which a bony layer over the spinal canal was removed to treat nerve compression.
"I knew that things weren't going as well as I'd hoped just based on feel," Wright said from Los Angeles. "We were trying to progress, and it just seemed like the more that we tried to put on my plate, the worse my body was responding. he time line has definitely been pushed back from what I was and expecting, but this is the case and there's nothing I can do about it."
Wright is guaranteed $47 million by the Mets over the next three seasons. New York signed Todd Frazier in case Wright would not be able to play.
Wright said when camp began last month that he was not yet running. He said Wednesday when he attempted baseball activities, the frequent turning and torque of his body produced too much pain to continue.
"Once it got to start preparing to try to do some baseball stuff and more twisting and turning, that's when my back in particular . just wasn't ready for it," he said. "My back certainly let me know that once we started doing more of that twisting and turning — things that require your back to co-operate, for sure."
He plans to remain in Los Angeles to work Watkins, then join his teammates for the March 29 opener at Citi Field.
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