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Mets' David Wright takes batting practice for first time since injury

David Wright of the New York Mets smiles

David Wright of the New York Mets smiles after his fourth-inning infield single against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. (Sept. 26, 2012) Credit: Jim McIsaac

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Another day, another step forward for Mets third baseman David Wright.

On Sunday, for the first time since straining his intercostal muscle in the World Baseball Classic, Wright took batting practice on the field.

"Mentally, it's somewhat of a hurdle to get over not knowing how it's going to feel when you swing," said Wright, who also fielded grounders for the second straight day. "And also, it's one step closer to Opening Day."

Wright must wait and see how his intercostal muscle feels on Monday, one day after taking his first swings. Nevertheless, the Mets captain expressed optimism about his chances of being ready for the season opener on April 1 against the Padres.

"I get to check this off the list," Wright said. "We'll hopefully progress a little more tomorrow... When you get onto the field, it's a little more effort. So, it was a nice step today."

Manager Terry Collins said on Saturday that Wright could appear in a Grapefruit League game as early as mid-week. But Wright said he's not sure when he'll next play.

For the Mets, that's by design. To keep Wright from rushing back from his injury, they have not given him details of his rehab schedule.

"I go home home not knowing what the next day is because you don't want to get your hopes up. They've kind of done a nice job putting the reins on me and making me taking my time and really slowing it down."

Wright last played in a game for Team USA on March 12, nearly two weeks ago. But because he has already played in full games, Wright could be ready to begin the season, even if he plays in just a few Grapefruit League games.

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