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Wright could get ABs by next week; Murphy takes BP

The United States' David Wright fields ground balls

The United States' David Wright fields ground balls during a training session in preparation for the World Baseball Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz. (March 4, 2013) Credit: AP

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Third baseman David Wright could be ready for at-bats in big league games by the middle of next week, Mets manager Terry Collins said on Saturday. However, the Mets won't be in any rush with Wright, who remains optimistic about starting on Opening Day.

"Once again, I'm going to be very cautious," Collins said of Wright, who is nursing a strained intercostal muscle. "This guy is a huge piece and the last thing... we need to do is to try to tell him needs to rush or he needs to hurry. But we'll see where he is by the middle of next week."

Wright said he felt no pain after hitting in the cage and fielding grounders on Saturday.

Meanwhile, second baseman Daniel Murphy, who is also dealing with an intercostal strain, took batting practice on Saturday. On Sunday, he might play in a minor league game for the first time since March 15. He was scratched the next day with stiffness in his intercostal muscle.

"The last time he played in a minor league game he rushed it and he took a huge step backwards," Collins said. "I will be the first guy in the morning to make sure that he does not overdo it tomorrow."

Murphy, who has not played in any Grapefruit League games, appears more likely to begin the season on the disabled list.

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