LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- David Wright has a moderate rib-cage strain and will be shut down for three to five days, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson announced Friday.
Manager Terry Collins, however, fears the third baseman won't be ready to play for two to three weeks, putting Wright's participation in the Mets' season opener April 1 in jeopardy.
There also is a possibility that Wright will start the season on the disabled list.
Wright flew back to New York Friday morning to have tests to determine the severity of the injury that knocked him out of the World Baseball Classic on Thursday night. An MRI revealed an intercostal muscle strain on Wright's left side.
"Anything about his condition for Opening Day right now I think would be speculative," Alderson said. "Is it possible that he'll be out for a period of time? Sure. But what we know right now is he's going to rest for three to five days and we'll see what happens."
Collins, who was less optimistic about having Wright for the opener, said Justin Turner will replace him at third base if he's not ready.
"We saw it with [Daniel Murphy]," Collins said. "Murph's been out a month. Last year, David had it. He missed a month. Jason Bay missed a month. I'm trying to be optimistic, and knowing that this kid's as tough as he is . . . I'm sure it'll be two, three weeks."
Wright missed about a month of spring training last year with an injury to his left rib cage that was diagnosed as a muscle tear.
The injury to Wright, who was dubbed "Captain America" for his exploits for the U.S. team in the WBC, has cast a cloud over this already shaky Mets spring training.
Along with questions about Wright's availability for the season opener, Mets fans have to be wondering why Wright was playing in the WBC when he felt something in his rib cage that caused him to have a hard time sleeping, as he told reporters after he was scratched from the U.S. lineup just before game time Thursday.
"David's a guy that doesn't overreact to things," Alderson said. "He's committed. When he makes commitments, he wants to execute on them, carry them out, and I'm sure he felt a responsibility to Team USA. This is a difficult development for him to accept."
Also, why didn't Wright, who signed an eight-year, $138-million contract extension in the offseason, let the Mets know he was dealing with an injury? Alderson said he learned of it Thursday after Wright told Team USA trainers. Collins said he didn't hear about it until yesterday morning.
Wright hit .438 (7-for-16) with a home run and a WBC-leading 10 RBIs. He wanted to play in Thursday's 3-1 loss to the Dominican Republic in Miami, even after the injury was revealed.
Asked if Wright would have played if the Mets had not intervened, Alderson said: "Well, that's a possibility, but I don't know that . . . He hoped it would go away. It didn't, and he felt that responsibility to deal with it."
Notes & quotes: Johan Santana threw from 45 and 60 feet as he continues to rehab his shoulder . . . Murphy (strained rib cage) played defense and ran the bases in a minor-league game. He hopes to bat in a minor-league game this weekend . . . The Mets beat the Braves, 5-2, as Jeremy Hefner struck out seven (including the last six he faced) and Lucas Duda homered.
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