David Wright is back at Citi Field after undergoing neck surgery and said he doesn’t expect to play again this season, but expects to return next year … and be again a viable player.
“I’m going to be out for an extended period of time,” Wright told reporters Friday in his first public comments since undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured disk in his neck. “But I plan on coming back and being the player that I feel like I’m capable of being.”
Dr. Robert Watkins removed the damaged disk and fragments putting pressure on Wright’s spinal cord. Wright said Watkins was adamant about surgery because of fear of permanent damage.
When Wright is able to return next season is unknown. The way he spoke Friday of his concerns of losing his balance or being bumped underscores how this year is out.
Despite his optimism, and considering his recent injury history, nothing can be assumed with Wright. James Loney, who drove in three runs with a homer and double Friday, threw the Mets a lifeline in replacing Lucas Duda. The Mets haven’t been as fortunate with a replacement for Wright.
It would have been advantageous to see Wright this year as to get a feel for what he can do and what their offseason needs might be. This season will end for the Mets not knowing about Wright’s ability to play third base, or anywhere else, for that matter.
They might be forced to consider signing, or trading for, a third baseman this winter.
Of course, the hope is Wright will return in 2017 and be a productive player.