Wright flying to New York for cortisone shot

Mets third baseman David Wright during a spring

Mets third baseman David Wright during a spring training workout. (March 3, 2012) (Credit: Alejandra Villa)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- David Wright was scheduled to fly to New York Sunday night, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said, to meet with team medical director David Altchek Monday at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Wright likely will receive an "ultrasound-guided" cortisone shot to his ailing left rib-cage muscle.

Lefty reliever Tim Byrdak, who is experiencing stiffness in his left knee, also had an appointment to meet with Altchek Monday in New York.

Wright has yet to play in a Grapefruit League game because of his condition, and Mets manager Terry Collins spun Monday's visit as a way for the 29-year-old third baseman to progress.

"After he sees the doctor, we'll find out where we are," Collins said. "Right now, he's real close. He's real close to doing baseball activities."

Byrdak, the Mets' best southpaw in the bullpen, said his knee has been bothering him since before spring training and that treatment wasn't helping.

Collins went as far as to say that if Byrdak needs arthroscopic surgery, he could be back by the start of the regular season. If the problem persists, however, Collins cited Garrett Olson, Chuck James and Josh Edgin as possibilities.

Young outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis was shut down with a right oblique strain, and Collins expressed his concern about the multitude of players experiencing problems with their obliques or rib cages. He said the Mets had ordered players to cut down on swings in batting practice and, in some instances, to take pregame stretching more seriously.

Mets, Nitkowski talking

The Mets were encouraged enough by veteran lefty C.J. Nitkowski, who auditioned Thursday, that they're trying to sign the 39-year-old to a minor-league deal. An agreement seems likely.

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