David Wright on WBC: No regrets
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- New York Mets third baseman David Wright offered no regrets Sunday about playing in the Word Baseball Classic, suggesting the injury he sustained in the tournament could have just as easily occurred had he remained in spring training camp.
Wright, who rejoined the Mets on Sunday after being examined by team doctors in New York, added that he is unsure whether he will recover enough to be ready for Opening Day after straining an intercostal muscle on his left side.
"That's looking to predict the future, and I can't do that, and I won't do that, because it's the first day I've been back in camp," Wright said. "So I don't know how I'm going to feel tomorrow. I don't know how I'm going to feel the next day. I'll tell you that's my goal.
"But I can't predict one way or another because what I don't want to do is try to do something and come back sooner than I should and it end up being a longer time. It's just a matter of how quickly my body responds to these treatments and how quickly I can get pain-free in that rib-cage area."
Wright received a cortisone injection Friday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. He indicated there still is some pain while he sleeps, but the discomfort has lessened. He will be idle for three to five days before resuming any activity.
"It's not nearly as bad as it was," Wright said. "I can definitely feel it."
Wright added that because he played full games in the WBC, the amount of at-bats he will require once the pain recedes in order to get ready for the season should be minimal.
Wright said the issue arose when he awoke with a stiff back the first day or two upon reporting to Team USA at the beginning of the month. At the time he thought it was minor and would go away. He only reported the injury to Team USA's trainers on Wednesday, which resulted in the Mets being alerted.
The following day he was scratched by the Mets from Team USA's game against the Dominican Republic in Miami. Wright had 10 RBIs in the first four games of the tournament.
Wright has received some public criticism for not disclosing the issue earlier. But Wright countered that he initially was convinced the injury was mild.
"I always play through whatever I can," he said. "It doesn't matter if it's the WBC or spring training or the regular season. I play through what I can tolerate playing through. And I could tolerate playing through it and I was fine with it.
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"Once it got to the point where I thought it might obviously prohibit me from coming back and producing with the Mets, that's when it was time to make that decision. I feel like I have a pretty good sense of what's tolerable and what's not tolerable. Some of those things just kind of go away. If I needed to call somebody every time I felt something, I wouldn't play too many games, I don't think.
"There's a difference between being hurt and being injured. I think I know my body well enough. At the beginning it might have just been a little tweak here. It ended up being more than that."
Wright insisted he was on the "same page" with the organization.
"Of course I owe it to the Mets to be honest with them, and I was," Wright said. "Ultimately when I started going in and getting treatment for it, the Mets saw that and they called me. I was honest with how I was feeling. So I was on board 100 percent with the decision that they made. ... Once it got to the point where I started not being able to sleep, or when it was painful to lounge around, that's when obviously I started going to get treatment and talking to [trainer] Ray [Ramirez] and [general manager] Sandy [Alderson] and those guys.
"If anything, they were very appreciative of me being honest with them when I did. Sandy actually seemed just as disappointed as I was to have to get pulled from the tournament. He said it was fun to watch."
Wright said he fully supports the WBC and does not believe players should shy away because of injury potential.
"You can get hurt in spring training," he said. "You can get hurt before spring training. Playing baseball, there's some risk that comes along with that, whether it's in Port St. Lucie or Arizona or Miami. ... I think everybody there was prepared. Unfortunately things like that happen. It has nothing to do with the tournament itself. It has everything to do with some bad luck."
Speaking of bad luck, Wright joins a series of high-profile players banged up in Mets camp. Justin Turner, the likely fill-in for Wright at third base, suffered a sprained right ankle Saturday. Left-hander Johan Santana and closer Frank Francisco are expected to open the season on the DL. Second baseman Daniel Murphy (strained intercostal muscle) and Kirk Nieuwenhuis (knee) also are injured.
"I don't think that we have any more injuries than anybody else," Wright said.
Wright was dubbed Captain America during the WBC.
"Captain America is a cool superhero," he said. "It was fun. My teammates gave me a hard time about it."
He is expected to be named the fourth captain in Mets history before Opening Day. He would join Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter and John Franco.
"I've said all along that it would be very special to me," Wright said. "It would be an incredible honor considering the other guys that have been captain of this franchise. It's something that I would take very seriously. It definitely would be one of the prouder moments or my career, if it were to happen."
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