The news is not good for David Wright, whose rib injury could force him to start the season on the disabled list and be out for up to a month.
Wright, who was scratched from last night’s World Baseball Classic game against the Dominican Republic, was examined today in New York and diagnosed with a strain of his left intercostal muscle.
Obviously out of the WBC, Wright doesn’t know when he’ll play again, but manager Terry Collins told reporters the All-Star third baseman could be out from “two to three weeks.’’
These types of injuries usually seem to take longer to heal than the original prognosis. As it is, two weeks takes us to the end of spring training, so being on the disabled list by Opening Day is not only conceivable, but likely.
The manager and general manager aren’t on the same page with this one, as Sandy Alderson placed the timetable at three to five days and offered nothing to reporters about Wright’s Opening Day status.
“Anything about his condition for Opening Day would be speculative,’’ Alderson said. “Is it possible he’ll be out for a period of time? Sure. But, what we know right now is he’s going to rest for three to five days, and we’ll see what happens.’’
Collins noted those injuries and concluded: “I’m trying to be optimistic, knowing this kid is as tough as he is. But, I’m sure it will be two to three weeks.’’
The Mets have been involved in numerous messy injury scenarios in recent years, including Oliver Perez, who was also was hurt during the WBC; Ryan Church, who played after sustaining a concussion; Carlos Beltran, who underwent knee surgery on his own; Jose Reyes, who was rushed from an oblique strain; Wright playing with a stress fracture in his lower back in 2011; and Johan Santana, whom the Mets said didn’t report in shape and is not close to pitching in a game.
Earlier today, Alderson said the Mets became aware of the injury at around 6:30 p.m., on Thursday, but Wright said he was hurting for a week and received treatment from Team USA trainers, who are required to notify the team on all injuries.
Two questions are swirling around this injury. Did Wright do enough to notify the Mets of the severity of his injury? Why didn’t the Mets pull Wright earlier?
Alderson said Wright’s replacement hasn’t been determined, but Justin Turner appears the likely candidate.
It is now probable three key Mets could open the season on the disabled list in Wright, Santana (shoulder) and closer Frank Francisco (elbow). A fourth Met, outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, was projected to the Opening Day leadoff hitter playing center, but a bruised knee has sidelined for nearly two weeks could force him to open the season in the minor leagues.