Will David Wright be ready for Opening Day? Yes, maybe, depends whom you ask
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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- David Wright's goal is to be healthy enough to play third base for the Mets in the season opener on April 1. He told reporters Sunday morning that he doesn't yet know if it's going to happen.
But manager Terry Collins later said Wright told him, "I'll be out there."
Said Collins: "He assured me today that he'd be ready . I'm not doubting him, but we certainly have to have a contingency plan in case he's not."
Whether that is wishful thinking on Wright's part is hard to say. Earlier, he would say only that Opening Day is his "goal."
"It's the first day I've been back in camp, so I don't know how I'm going to feel tomorrow, I don't know how I'm going to feel the next day," Wright said. "But 100 percent that's my goal, to be ready for Opening Day."
Wright said he had a cortisone shot on Friday to help begin the healing of the moderately strained rib-cage muscle he suffered in the World Baseball Classic. Wright was shut down for three to five days on Friday.
"The first part is it's obviously important just to knock out that pain," Wright said. "It's just basically rest right now. Rest and some treatment."
Wright missed a month in spring training last season with a strained abdominal muscle on the left side -- same side, different injury. This time it's a strained intercostal muscle, which can be notoriously slow to heal.
Wright said he first felt the strain on March 3 or 4 when he started working out with the U.S. team in Arizona. He didn't get treatment until this past Wednesday; the Mets were informed Thursday and he was pulled from Team USA's game against the Dominican Republic.
Wright had been one of the stars of the WBC. He hit .438 (7-for-16) with a home run and 10 RBIs and was dubbed "Captain America" for his exploits.
He said no one from the Mets had expressed any disappointment that he didn't tell the club about the injury sooner.
"If I needed to call somebody every time I felt something, I wouldn't play too many games, I think," he said. "If anything, they were very appreciative of me being honest with them when I did. I think we were all on the same page that I obviously owe it to the Mets to at that point to be honest and forthcoming about how I felt."
Wright, who signed an eight-year, $138-million extension with the Mets in the offseason, wanted to play in the WBC on Thursday and went through all his pregame preparation, including batting practice, before the Mets intervened.
When asked why he decided not to shut it down as soon as he felt something, Wright said: "Because I always play through whatever I can. It doesn't matter if it's WBC or spring training or the regular season or whatever . . . Once it got to the point where it might obviously prohibit me from coming back and producing with the Mets, that's when it was time to make that decision. If I feel like I have a pretty good sense of what's tolerable and not tolerable and at that point some of those things just go away."
This one didn't, and now it remains to be seen if Wright will play for the Mets on April 1. If he can't, Justin Turner likely will open the season at third base. The sprained ankle Turner suffered on Saturday appears to be only a day-to-day thing; X-rays taken Saturday were negative and he was moving around pretty well Sunday.