MIAMI - For what he hoped would be the final time, captain David Wright made the circuit on Wednesday afternoon, shaking hands as he departed the Mets' clubhouse.
Wright soon would travel to the team's complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida, where he will continue his transition from rehab patient to baseball player.
"Each day you get a little more confident in the preparation, in the process, instead of feeling a bit hesitant," said Wright, who is on the brink of a major step forward in his rehab from lumbar spinal stenosis. "It's starting to feel a little more relaxed, a little more like it's a reaction."
Wright is in the midst of five straight days of strenuous baseball activity, his longest stretch since beginning his arduous road back from a back condition that has changed the way he prepares.
He even has made subtle changes to basic tasks he's done since childhood -- for instance, being mindful of properly setting his feet on throws -- to avoid placing any undue stress on his back.
Nevertheless, Wright has basked in a return to the grind. Lately, he has spent more time on the field and talking shop than sitting at a therapy table describing the status of his back.
Said Wright: "I'd rather be talked to as a baseball player as opposed to a patient in a therapy clinic."
As Wright zeros in on a return, the Mets have reinforced their roster with veteran big- league bats. The additions have made them less reliant on Wright, whose absence was felt for much of the first half.
Wright still intends to play every day, but the Mets' depth has eased some of the pressure to do so.
"My goal is to try to come back and be an everyday player," Wright said. "My goal is not to come back and play every other day. But with that being said, would it be smart to get a blow every now and then? Yeah, I think it is. And my body might tell me I need a blow a little more often now. But I'm planning on coming back and being an everyday player."
For now, manager Terry Collins sees Juan Uribe as a third baseman. Daniel Murphy also has looked more comfortable there than at any other position.
Uribe and Murphy give the Mets adequate production at third, essentially acting as a hedge in case Wright suffers a setback.
But Wright intends to return. And even if he winds up as a part-time player, his dangerous bat would only add to the Mets' overall depth.
"I look in this clubhouse and I have confidence not only in the everyday guys, but I have a lot of confidence that with the moves that we made, we have a pretty deep bench now," Wright said. "That's a luxury that we have."
Blevins re-injured. Lefthanded reliever Jerry Blevins slipped on a curb on Monday and refractured his left arm, making him likely to miss the remainder of the season, the Mets announced.
Blevins likely will undergo surgery in Boston next week to repair the fractured distal radius bone in his left arm. It's the same bone he broke on April 19, when he was struck by a comebacker.
Blevins recently had been cleared to throw. Lefthanded hitters were 0-for-14 against him before his injury.
The Mets traded for lefty reliever Eric O'Flaherty on Tuesday, one day after Blevins' fall.