It doesn't matter that the Mets are facing a month full of meaningless games in September. Their franchise player, David Wright, wants to play in a few of them before the end of the season.
Wright, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 3 with a Grade 2 hamstring strain, was scheduled to travel to the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Thursday night to continue rehabilitating his injury.
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There is some thought that Wright should take his time coming back, that it might be more prudent to wait until 2014 to return to action. Wright, however, seems anxious to put the injury behind him this season.
"This is what I do. I want to play," Wright said before the Mets' 11-3 victory over the Phillies Thursday at Citi Field. "It's against pretty much everything that I believe in just to shut the season down and get ready for the next year. You've got 25 guys in that room battling right now, and we're in an uphill battle with some of the injuries and some of the trades and things that have happened. So I want to get back and join my teammates and try to help them finish strong.
"Personally, I don't want the next time I take the field to be in spring training with the uncertainty of being able to finish the season strong and healthy."
Wright originally was told that it would take six weeks to come back from the injury, which he suffered while running out a grounder in the 10th inning of a game against the Royals. Wright said his rehab is on schedule, so he should be able to return with a couple of weeks left in the season.
"I'm progressing well," he said. "I'm running well. It's probably a quick jog at maybe 60 percent, 70 percent. I'm swinging the bat fine. I'm fielding. I'm doing all that stuff. It's just a matter of being able to run full speed, running the bases, starting and stopping. That's the most important thing."
Wright, 30, signed an eight-year, $138-million contract with the Mets in December with the goal of helping to resurrect a franchise that continues to finish far out of the playoff picture. Despite the team's recent woes -- headlined by ace Matt Harvey's elbow injury -- Wright remains high on the Mets' future and its young players.
"I don't think one injury that may or may not affect next year is going to affect the overall plan," he said. "We'd like Matt to lead the pitching staff, but we have other guys who can step up and give us a very deep pitching staff. With the money we have coming off the books this year, I expect we will go out there and make this team better.
"I still believe in the vision Sandy [Alderson] has. For the time being, this looks like a step backward . . . but when you're accomplishing something, you have to take a few steps back before you move forward."