Terry Collins squashed any notion that David Wright could be the designated hitter when the Mets begin a two-game series against the Orioles in Baltimore next Tuesday.

Wright is on a rehabilitation assignment in Florida as he works his way back after being sidelined in April with a hamstring injury that was followed with a diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis. He took his first at-bats Monday and then played third base for six innings on Tuesday.

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Wright's bat might have come in handy with the sudden uncertainty surrounding a back issue with Lucas Duda.

"It would be nice," Terry Collins said Thursday. "It's not the risk, it's is he ready? He's feeling good. I'm not really worried about the back. I'm worried about whether or not he's ready. When he comes here he's got to be ready to contribute. It's about at-bats. He's got to have his timing down.

"I talked to him, one of the things we're seeing right now -- you find out from anybody who's been out of the game for a long time -- he's stiff. There's no injuries, but you got to get in playing shape."

Collins said Wright will not be rushed.

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"I go back to when I was in Anaheim [in 1999]," Collins said. "Gary DiSarcina missed four and a half months with a broken wrist. We sent him on a rehab. He joined us in Cleveland and I had to give him a day off the first day. He was so sore. It's that stagnant steady position that you're ready every pitch, it just eats you up. When I talked to Dave, he said `I'm sore,' not hurt. When that stuff goes way he'll be ready."