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NEW YORK -- New York Mets third baseman David Wright suffered a fractured right pinkie sliding back into first base on a pickoff throw on Monday night.
Manager Terry Collins said the Mets likely would delay a disabled list decision until Friday, after a hand specialist has a chance to examine X-rays and Wright can see whether significant swelling subsides.
Wright's finger will be fitted for a customized splint Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. The fracture occurred at the middle joint of his right pinkie, the team announced.
The Mets have a matinee game Wednesday against the Washington Nationals, then a day off on Thursday, so any DL decision can wait until before the Mets open a weekend series in Philadelphia.
"I'm going to wake up tomorrow, hopefully the swelling goes down and we start getting it better," Wright said after the Mets lost to the Nationals, 6-2, on Tuesday night at Citi Field. "For right now, it's swollen. I'm just trying to ice it and stabilize it and see how it feels tomorrow. ... You can't determine anything when it's puffy and swollen like it is now."
Collins remembered how Wright suffered in silence last season before revealing back pain that turned out to be a stress fracture that sidelined him for two months. Wright batted .226 last year before he went on the disabled list on May 18 and sat out until July 22.
"It would be the worst thing that could happen right now. It's his top hand, bottom finger," Collins said. "He is swinging the bat so well. It wouldn't make any sense to make adjustments to his swing."
Collins indicated an absence of any length likely would prompt him to move Daniel Murphy back to third base, his natural position. That potentially would open second base for the promotion of infield prospect Jordany Valdespin. Justin Turner also could play second base in that scenario.
A short-term absence for Wright in which he avoids the DL could be plugged at third base by Ronny Cedeno and Turner, according to Collins.
"If I can't play sooner rather than later, I understand. They can't go and be down a man for 10 days or so," Wright said about the DL. "I want to get out there and play as soon as possible. I guess, ultimately, it's not my call, because if I'm not available and still on the roster, we're down a man. ... Obviously, I don't want to go on the DL. No one ever wants to go on the DL. But sometimes it just works out that way. Hopefully, that's not the case this time."
Said Collins: "It depends where the fracture is itself, where it's at. But, a lot of those things, if it's not something they have to set, you go play. You deal with the pain, and you can play through it. We'll know more tomorrow after we get the initial report back from the hand specialist. ... Worst case right now is that he's going to miss a little bit of time. But the best-case scenario is that he takes tomorrow (off) and he's ready to go on Friday, once they get the swelling down."
Wright tried to grip a bat pregame in a cage, but was unable to do so.
"There was nothing that I could do to have it feel even remotely comfortable, or that I could go up there and do any sort of damage at the plate," Wright said. "It would just be me up there taking or trying to slap the ball around. That's not good for anybody. For me, the main thing, even yesterday after I did it, hitting really hurt. Throwing wasn't nearly as bad as gripping the bat."
The third baseman said Nationals right-hander Edwin Jackson's pickoff throw in the third inning Monday caught him off guard after he reached first base on a single.
"I was going to run the first pitch, and he surprised me and threw over," Wright said. "It was a little bit of a panic trying to get back to first, and I went in there a little bit too hard and jammed my pinkie into the bag."
Wright hit .583 with a homer and four RBIs through the Mets' first four games -- all wins. He is four RBIs shy of matching Darryl Strawberry's franchise record for RBIs at 733.
"It's always frustrating to miss time," Wright said. "I'm more concerned that I feel like it breaks up the momentum that we had. But there's nothing you can do about it. It happens. You try to go out there and not get hurt, and you just never know. I never would have thought that I'd manage to fracture my finger trying to dive back into first not getting picked off."Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.