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Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Updated: August 21, 8:48 AM ET
David Wright planning to return

By Matt Ehalt
Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Mets third baseman David Wright (hamstring) plans on returning this season, although it's uncertain when he'll be able to be back in the team's lineup.

Wright has missed the Mets' past 16 games since straining his right hamstring against Kansas City on Aug. 2, and has not started baseball activities.

"I don't think in my mind there's any question," Wright said Tuesday about a return. " It's actually probably a good thing, but the medical staff doesn't really give me too much of an outlying plan; that's really day by day. Again, much to my disagreement 'cause I like to plan things out and know where I'm going to be.

"But one day I come in and I've been successful with everything they've thrown at me, and the next day I advance a little bit slowly but surely. It's frustrating because I want to be out there but at the same time, you don't want this to become a chronic problem where it continues to happen because you didn't rehab it properly the first time."

Wright, who said he hasn't suffered any setbacks in his recovery, said he's strengthening his legs to try and improve his flexibility, and has played catch and hit off a tee. He can work out his upper body, and described the lower half workouts as a gradual process, as he couldn't do anything after suffering the injury.

The All-Star added that he doesn't feel the hamstring any more. He isn't sure when he'll head to Florida to start rehabbing, but would first like to work with Mets' medical staff in New York, potentially starting his running program here.

"I think our trainers, the physical therapist we have, our strength coach, are some of the best in the business. That's not taking anything away from the guys down in Florida. But these guys know me. They know how I was when I got hurt," Wright said. "They see me now, and I'd like for them to see me progress and when they feel comfortable with giving me the green light, then I'll be more than happy to go to Florida. That's not the issue. It's that I'd like to work with the personnel here at least for the time being."

The Mets have 39 games left, and with Wright's schedule still undetermined, it appears he'll have limited time to help the team before the season ends. Wright, batting .309 with 16 homers and 54 RBIs, signed an eight-year contract extension in the offseason, and was named the team's captain. Wright stressed the importance of returning this season, even if it's for a short stretch.

"It's always important to me on a number of different levels. One, that this is what I love to do. I can't tell you how bored I was the last two weeks," Wright said. "I think also it kind of helps you confidence-wise going into spring training knowing that you finished the year healthy. So no question I think it's important. Confidence-wise, mentally, obviously physically, to get back out there and finish as strong as I can."

As Wright rehabs, two of the team's starters appear headed for surgery. Tommy John surgery was recommended for starter Jeremy Hefner, who suffered a partial tear of the MCL in his right elbow. Hefner is considering getting another opinion, but the surgery could happen soon, according to Mets manager Terry Collins. Hefner, who struggled early but closed the first half strong, is 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA.

Fellow starter Jenrry Mejia, placed on the disabled list on Sunday, will have surgery in the next seven-to-10 days to remove a bone spur in his right elbow and have the elbow cleaned out, according to Collins. Surgery already had been planned for the offseason, but Mejia left Saturday's start with elbow discomfort. He's 1-2 with a 2.30 ERA.

Closer Bobby Parnell, on the disabled list since Aug. 6 with a herniated disc in his neck, has seen his symptoms lessen, but not to where he can start baseball activities, according to Collins.