Friday, July 22, 2011
David Wright back in Mets lineup
By Adam Rubin
MIAMI -- More than two months after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his lower back, third baseman David Wright returned to the New York Mets lineup Friday.
Wright was activated from the disabled list before the series-opening 7-6 win against the Florida Marlins and placed in the cleanup spot by manager Terry Collins.
"It's good to be back," Wright said after going 2-for-5 with two RBI doubles and two runs scored. "It's good to play the game and have fun doing it."
Wright was asked before the game if he thought the fracture had healed.
"I think it calcifies," Wright said. "I think if you go take an X-ray, you're still going to see it. The bone calcifies itself and that's when you feel normal. And that's what takes the time -- for the bone to repair itself. I think that with any bone, it takes four, six, seven weeks to repair itself. After I got back into the twisting and the turning and the swinging and stuff, it felt good. After the first couple of rehab games, I knew it wasn't going to be an issue as far as being in my mind."
Wright last played in the majors on May 15 at Houston, after which he was examined in New York and was caught off guard by the discovery of the stress fracture. He missed 59 games. The injury is suspected to have occurred as Wright was trying to make a diving tag at third base on Carlos Lee of the Astros on April 19 at Citi Field.
Nick Evans was designated for assignment in order to clear roster room for Wright's return.
Wright played six straight rehab games with Class A St. Lucie through Wednesday -- four games at third base and two as the designated hitter. He hit .476 (10-for-21) with two RBIs, a steal and six walks in the Florida State League.
Wright hoped he got enough at-bats during his rehab assignment to be sharp in his return.
"We'll see after (Friday night)," Wright said before the game. "I felt good. It was good to go out there. I got a chance to face those (minor league) guys. I got a chance to face Johan (Santana) a few times. So I don't think being down there any longer would have been more beneficial to me."
Wright's return moves Daniel Murphy from third base back to the right side of the infield. With Ike Davis potentially lost for the season with cartilage damage in his left ankle, which he suffered in a collision with Wright in Denver on May 10, Murphy primarily should man first base. Murphy also should get some duty at second base, with Justin Turner mostly manning that spot.
Wright said he has "kind of a different warm-up routine" in order to prepare his back for games.
"Just a different kind of routine before I go out there on the field," he said. "I have to do some things that are supposed to continue to strengthen and protect it -- a combination of stretching and types of exercising, different core things I have to do to strengthen the muscles in my back."
Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com.