Mets captain David Wright plans to spend the coming week in California undergoing treatment for spinal stenosis with the back specialist who developed his rehabilitation plan. By the end of that time, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he should know whether he needs to look for a long-term solution at third base.
"I'm hopeful we will see him back much sooner than some have speculated," Alderson told reporters before the Mets' 6-3 win over Philadelphia on Monday at Citi Field.
Pressed about the possibility that Wright, who already has missed six weeks, might be on the shelf for a much longer period, Alderson said: "There does come a time when we'll have to consider that. We'll know more in the next two, three or four days after we get some more input from Dr. [Robert] Watkins and his office.
"Honestly, until three or four days ago, I thought this was going to be a very temporary situation. As we continue to have setbacks, you have to reassess how to go forward. But we're a handful of days away from knowing something that will give us a more concrete idea of when he will be back."
Wright suffered a right hamstring injury April 14 that put him on the disabled list. He developed back problems May 6 and had a setback May 18 that was diagnosed as spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column.
Instead of simply following the protocol established by Watkins at the Mets' Port St. Lucie training base in Florida, Wright suggested it might be better to work directly with Watkins' physical therapy staff in California. Alderson said the Mets' medical team concurred that it was a good idea "to see if there are some magic fingers somewhere in California."
Surgery is not an option at this point and no doctors have indicated that Wright is facing a long-term problem. But Alderson acknowledged the need to explore possible trades, as well as options within the organization.
"This is not the time of year when most clubs are looking to make deals," Alderson said. "While we continue to canvass what may be available, we have to get the job done with what we have, at least in the near term."
One possible boost for the offense is the return of catcher Travis d'Arnaud, who has been on the DL since April 20 with a broken pinkie finger. D'Arnaud is scheduled to play five innings of an extended spring training game Tuesday, then join the St. Lucie club to catch and DH for two or three days. That will be followed by a move to Triple-A Las Vegas.
The Mets begin a seven-game road trip Monday in San Diego, and d'Arnaud should be ready by then.
"I'd say San Diego is a possibility," Alderson said. "I certainly would hope that he would be back by Arizona."