David Wright is expected to begin baseball activities early next week, general manager Sandy Alderson said, signaling the third baseman's first major progress since doctors diagnosed him with spinal stenosis.
However, Alderson did not say when Wright could begin playing in rehab games, another major hurdle in his attempt to return from his back injury.
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"He's involved in very limited baseball activity while in California," Alderson said. "But if things go as we expect now and between the end of this week, I do expect him back in New York early next week and some baseball activity with us."
Though time is running down on Wright, Alderson maintains that he will play again this season. Wright landed on the DL on April 15 for a hamstring injury, which has since been linked with his diagnosis of spinal stenosis.
Manfred backs Wilpons
Commissioner Rob Manfred did not deviate in his steadfast support of the Wilpons, saying Thursday that the Mets' owners "are absolutely committed to winning and that they will spend money when they think they can spend money and have it be effective in terms of making that team better."
Speaking at the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation event at Sleepy Hollow Country Club, Manfred also praised Alderson.
The Mets rank 21st in team payroll at around $101 million.
Travis d'Arnaud (sprained left elbow) will begin his rehab assignment Friday at Class-A Port St. Lucie. D'Arnaud was to catch five innings Thursday night, but the game was rained out.
Steven Matz (torn lat muscle) will be examined by doctors next week, though Alderson said he's been given no indication of any setback.
Lefty reliever Jerry Blevins (fractured left arm) is also scheduled to be examined by doctors. If the fracture is healed, he'll be cleared to begin throwing.With Jordan Lauterbach