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Saturday, March 23, 2013
Collins weighs in on Wright, Murph status

By Adam Rubin

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Terry Collins said the Mets are eyeing the middle of next week to get David Wright at-bats, but caution will be the priority as the captain returns from a strained intercostal muscle on his left side.

“Each and every step is a positive with David," Collins said after Wright hit off a tee and hit flips Saturday. "We’re looking at the middle of next week for possible at-bats as we head into next weekend. Once again, I’m going to be very cautious. This guy is a huge piece. The last thing we need to do is to try to tell him he needs to rush or he needs to hurry. But we’ll see where he is in the middle of next week.”

Meanwhile, Daniel Murphy may enter a minor league game Sunday. Murphy last played in a minor league game eight days ago, logging five innings at second base, but his injured right side subsequently became tight.

“I think it’s too early to tell,” Collins said about whether Murphy could be ready for Opening Day. “A minor league game -- is he going to play four innings? Two innings? Three innings? How many at-bats is he going to get? … The last time he played in a minor league game he rushed it and he took a huge step backward. I will be the first guy in the morning to make sure he does not overdo it tomorrow.”

On Johan Santana, Collins said: "I've kind of had that feeling for a while that he's going to be very cautious getting himself back, making sure his shoulder is at the same strength it was last year when he left here. This guy started throwing last December [in 2011]. You're looking at December, January, February, March last year before he left here. And his arm was in great shape. We're starting in basically February this year. I don't necessarily think it's going to take four months, but it may take six weeks to get him where he wants to be."