PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Two days after receiving an ultrasound-guided cortisone shot at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, New York Mets third baseman David Wright returned to camp and pledged to be ready for Opening Day on April 5.
Wright revealed Wednesday that he had a muscle tear toward the left side of his abdomen -- technically, the rectus abdominis muscle. He believed he had a rib cage strain before an MRI exam revealed the true diagnosis.
"Whenever you strain a muscle, essentially there's some tearing," Wright said. "So it sounds a lot worse than it is. ... I think I'm past the difficult part. Now it's just a matter of getting back in the swing of things and making sure that I can get back on the field as soon as my body will allow me to, and then get some at-bats."
He might be able to resume limited activities in camp Thursday, after allowing the recommended 48 hours for the anti-inflammatory injection to kick in.
"It obviously was the best way to try to get on the field faster," Wright said of the cortisone shot.
Wright, who grew up with Zimmerman, said he was unaware that was the case and added: "I don't plan on missing any games."
Wright said that had this injury occurred during the season, he would like to think he would have remained in the lineup.
"It wasn't so much a sharp pain. It's just more of an uncomfortable cramp," Wright said. "So I take a lot of pride in trying to go out there and play when I feel like I can play. This would have been one of the times where I would have hoped that I could have played through it. But it doesn't make any sense doing that now."
Wright suffered the injury during a fielding drill early in camp, before Grapefruit League games began. He described being sidelined as "frustrating, but smart also."
He acknowledged he is taking a different approach with injuries than he has in the past. Last season, he played with a stress fracture in his back before finally getting a precise diagnosis and heading to the disabled list.
"As much as I'd like to be out there and play, I also have to realize it's the first couple of weeks of spring training and that for once in my career you've got to be smart about something and maybe miss a few games here to make sure I'm ready for the season," Wright said.
Although Wright declined to outline a precise timetable, he's not concerned about seeing enough pitching to be sharp for Opening Day in three weeks against the Atlanta Braves.
"I think that as long as I get a decent amount of time, I feel like I'll be ready," he said. "I'm not at the point now where I feel panicked or rushed. I still feel comfortable with the amount of time we have left."