David Wright on course for opener

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- David Wright went 0-for-3 in his return to Grapefruit League action, but after logging five innings at third base, the New York Mets third baseman indicated he is recovered from the strained intercostal muscle on his left side and ready for Opening Day.

Wright plans to play again Saturday in Sarasota, as the Mets wrap up spring-training play against the Baltimore Orioles.

Wright grounded out and lined out to second base, both against right-hander Jake Westbrook. Then, facing lefty Marc Rzepczynski, he flied out to right field. Wright does go opposite-field often, but that also could signal his timing is not fully back yet.

He played in minor league games this week, but had not seen upper-tier pitching since the injury forced him out of the World Baseball Classic two weeks ago. He had received a cortisone injection in his left side March 15.

"The game action on the minor league fields, I think, helped me feel a little more comfortable today," Wright said. "Everything's good."

Playing Wright in a spring game eliminates the Mets being able to backdate any disabled-list stint and signals that team officials are fully confident he will be ready to face right-hander Edinson Volquez and the San Diego Padres on Monday at Citi Field. Wright remains confident he will be in the lineup Opening Day.

"I've said all along the same, and that hasn't changed to this point," Wright said.

Asked how he felt compared with how he typically does on the eve of a season, Wright added: "I feel about the same, I guess. Of course I would have liked a few more at-bats. But I don't have that luxury right now. I'll get the most out of what I can tomorrow and we'll be ready to go. Right now I feel pretty good considering the circumstances."

The Mets' infield, once depleted by injury, now appears intact for Opening Day.

Second baseman Daniel Murphy, who received a cortisone injection Feb. 19 for a strained intercostal muscle on his right side, played in his first Grapefruit League game Thursday. Murphy similarly expressed that confidence he will be ready to break camp with the club.