VIERA, Fla. -- The Mets dropped a 5-1 decision to the Nationals on Thursday, though manager Terry Collins' postgame briefing was devoted to the daily injury roundup:
-- Second baseman Daniel Murphy [intercostal strain] is slated to play once again on Friday, so long as he comes through with no issues after going 1-for-3 in his Grapefruit League debut. Murphy was pulled after he struck out in the sixth. Murphy also pushed it a bit, tagging up on an aggressive play in the first inning.
"He needs to," Collins said about Murphy exerting himself. "He needs to a little bit, otherwise, he stays here. He's got to show us he's ready to play, he's got to show us he's not going to have a problem swinging the bat or with his mobility because he hasn't played much. So,he's got to go play. Obviously, we'll try to limit the amount of innings he'll play right now but he's got to get out there."
--Third baseman David Wright [intercostal strain] may want to play in Friday's game against the Cardinals, however Collins said that the organization's decision makers will first huddle about what comes next.
-- Utilityman Justin Turner received treatment on Thursday for his strained left calf. He's essentially day-to-day.
-- Pitching prospect Domingo Tapia got roughed up for four runs in two innings though Collins sees plenty of potential. Tapia, 21, will likely pitch in the rotation at Class-A Port St. Lucie.
-- Starting pitcher Jeremy Hefner [bruised right elbow] will make a game appearance on Friday or Saturday, Collins said. He would throw perhaps two innings. Hefner is scheduled to make his regular season debut on April 5 against the Marlins.
-- Outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis went 1-for-3 with a walk and a pair of strikeouts. He's hitting just .094 after missing much of March with a knee injury. Yet, Collins keeps hinting that he'll get the lion's share of plate appearances in the final few days of camp.
"We're going to try to get him out there but yet we've got other people we've got to get some at-bats," Collins said. "We've got to decide who's going to play center, therefore, we've got to get Kirk some at-bats."
Despite Nieuwenhuis' struggles at the plate, it's clear that the Mets value his glove in the outfield, perhaps opening the door to a late run for a roster spot.