PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy will be examined in New York today after complaining of soreness in his right rib cage. General manager Sandy Alderson said Murphy could miss a week with what he called "intercostal discomfort."
"It's just a little sore," said Murphy, who thinks the pain might be related to mechanical changes he's been working on in the batting cage.
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Murphy said he also dealt with the issue late last season, though he managed to play through it. David Wright and former Mets outfielder Scott Hairston endured similar rib-cage injuries in spring training last year, though neither missed significant time. Murphy also might have a cortisone shot to deal with the pain, just as Wright did last season.
Even if Murphy misses a few Grapefruit League games, manager Terry Collins said it will "not be a big issue" because the injury was caught so early in spring training. Murphy didn't hit during the team's first full-squad workout, though he participated in fielding drills.
Santana accepts no WBC
Going along with the wishes of his team, Johan Santana will not compete for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, Alderson announced. "We think that he will be better served with a full routine, progressive spring training, as opposed to an accelerated program with the WBC," Alderson said.
As per their rights under WBC eligibility rules, the Mets refused to grant Santana permission to play. The pitcher ended last season on the disabled list because of a few nagging injuries and concerns about his surgically repaired left shoulder. "I know how important it is," said Santana, 33, who might never have another chance to pitch in the WBC. "I really wanted to be a part of it."
Wright will leave Mets camp March 2 or 3 to join the U.S. team in the WBC.