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NEW YORK -- Seven weeks after New York Mets third baseman David Wright suffered a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring, he was back in the lineup Friday in Philadelphia.
Wright took ground balls at third base and hit again Thursday at Citi Field as he prepares for his first major league action since Aug. 2. Mets manager Terry Collins penciled him in as batting third and playing third Friday.
“"I just know it's going to be the top of the ninth inning tomorrow night and there's going to be a runner at third base with two outs, and he's going to hit a chopper and he's going to bust it down that first-base line," Collins said Thursday. "So we've got to make sure his legs are ready."
It might look like it doesn't take all that much athleticism to play, especially with some of the guys that we've got, but you've got to be in that baseball shape, and I'm getting pretty close.” -- David Wright
Said Wright Thursday: "We'll see how I feel today, and then we'll discuss what tomorrow holds. I feel as good as I can. It's tough kind of being away from doing those types of things for so long, and then all of a sudden doing it, and doing it trying to rush everything to play as soon as possible.
"I'm not really too sore. The doctors' point of view and trainers' point of view is that it takes time. It's just not something that you can be away [from] for six weeks and all of a sudden just snap your fingers and go out and play in a baseball game. It might look like it doesn't take all that much athleticism to play, especially with some of the guys that we've got, but you've got to be in that baseball shape. I think that it takes a little bit of time to get into that baseball shape, and I'm getting pretty close."
Wright had insisted he wanted to play before the season ends. Arguably, he would be better off continuing to rehab the hamstring without doing game-type explosive movements until spring training.
"If I'm able to play, I want to play," he said. "I don't understand somebody that's healthy, that can play, that doesn't play. I'm going to probably have to do those bursts in February in a game, so at some point you've got to figure out and feel confident being healthy.
"I've said it a number of times: There's a number of different reasons [for returning now]. One, this is what I want to do. I want to play. Also, I'd like to obviously play in front of the fans the last homestand. And then mentally, for the team and myself, I'd like to finish this year strong, going into next year with at least a little bit of momentum.
"With how things have gone this year, there's not too many positives you can take away from this. At least you want to try to win some of those smaller battles down the stretch where you have some things to feel good about going into the offseason."