David Wright returned to camp Wednesday morning and said the precise injury he had suffered was a tear of the rectus abdominis muscle -- essentially a six-pack muscle, toward the left side of his abdomen. Wright received an ultrasound-guided cortisone shot at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan on Monday, which he described as "interesting" because "you're looking at your insides on a TV screen and you see the needle come in with the medicine and stuff."
Said Wright: "Whenever you strain a muscle, essentially there's some tearing. So it sounds a lot worse than it is. ... I think I'm past the difficult part. Now it's just a matter of getting back in the swing of things and making sure that I can get back on the field as soon as my body will allow me to, and then get some at-bats."
He should resume limited activities in camp Thursday, first allowing the recommended 48 hours for the anti-inflammatory injection to kick in.
"It obviously was the best way to try to get on the field faster," Wright said about the cortisone shot.
Wright said he believed his availability for Opening Day is not in question. "I don't feel like it is. No," Wright said.
He added that during the season, he would like to think he would have remained in the lineup.
"It wasn't so much a sharp pain. It's just more of an uncomfortable cramp," Wright said. "So I take a lot of pride in trying to go out there and play when I feel like I can play. This would have been one of the times where I would have hoped that I could have played through it. But it doesn't make any sense doing that now."
Still, Nationals beat writer Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post noted that Nats third baseman Ryan Zimmerman had the same injury last year. Tweeted Kilgore: "That's exactly what Zimmerman had last year when he had surgery and missed 60 games. He did try rehab first."
Wright, who suffered the injury during a fielding drill early in camp, before Grapefruit League games began, described being sidelined as "frustrating, but smart also." He acknowledged he is taking a different tact with this injury than he has in the past, such as playing with a stress fracture in his back last season before finally getting a precise diagnosis and then heading to the disabled list.
Said Wright: "As much as I'd like to be out there and play, I also have to realize it's the first couple of weeks of spring training and that for once in my career you've got to be smart about something and maybe miss a few games here to make sure I'm ready for the season."
As for the frustration Terry Collins expressed the previous day about the litany of Mets injuries, Wright said: "It's OK to be frustrated. But at the end of the day it's spring training. You have to err on the side of caution. We spoke to Terry about it. Terry will be the first one to tell you that if you feel something, come right in. It's frustrating, obviously, because you want all of your guys out there. But if you look around the league, every team is going to be banged up and every team is going to be more cautious than trying to push guys out there in spring training.
"I think sometimes a guy gets a day off or two and things get a little overblown. Spring training, it's not about trying to go out there and push yourself. We'll do that during the season. We'll go out there and play banged up. Everybody has done it. But spring training you have to be a little more smart about it."
Wright said he did not want to outline a precise prepare to ready for the season. He professed no concern, though, about seeing enough pitching to be sharp for Opening Day on April 5 against the Atlanta Braves.
"I'm not worried about that," he said. "I think that as long as I get a decent amount of time, I feel like I'll be ready. I'm not at the point now where I feel panicked or rushed. I still feel comfortable with the amount of time we have left. And, if I need extra at-bats, we have the minor league side. So the at-bats isn't an issue. Just as important as the at-bats is getting your body to the point where you're preparing every day, you're feeling that fatigue, and you're going through that preparation to get ready for a game. I'm not concerned about the at-bats at all because I can go over there and get 12 at-bats in a day on the minor league side if I need it."