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Wright says he's '50-50' to play Monday

David Wright takes batting practice before a spring

David Wright takes batting practice before a spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (March 24, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- David Wright described himself as "50-50" to play Monday against the Cardinals in Jupiter after taking live batting practice against two Mets minor-leaguers Sunday.

Wright has yet to play in a Grapefruit League game after suffering a small abdominal muscle tear earlier this month. Since then, the Mets have been extremely careful with him, and Sunday's session was one of the last hurdles for him to clear before finally getting the green light.

Wright said he must wait until Monday morningto know for sure if he'll make the 45-minute bus trip to Roger Dean Stadium. The plan is for Wright to discuss how he feels with Terry Collins, and then a decision will be made. Collins said Sunday it is "possible" Wright will play in Jupiter.

"I'm going to show up and hopefully, I feel OK," Wright said, "because there's a difference between batting practice and taking swings in a game. Hopefully, I feel good waking up [Monday] and then we'll see what [Monday] holds."

The good news is Wright felt fine after facing Class A righthander Mike Powers and Double-A lefthander Robert Carson. Wright drilled a line drive off Powers that smacked hard against the rightfield wall -- and nearly cut down Jonathon Niese, who was jogging along the warning track.

That surprised hitting coach Dave Hudgens, who skipped Sunday's trip to Viera in order to watch Wright. After seeing that, and knowing the work Wright already has put in, Hudgens proclaimed him "ready to go."

"I'm anxious, but I also don't want to do anything that's going to set me back," Wright said. "So I understand the process. This is like the first week of spring training for me, as far as I'm concerned, and now I've taken my first live swinging, so I'm cautiously optimistic."

Hairston inches forward

Scott Hairston tracked pitches Sunday without swinging against Powers and Carson and later took batting practice for the first time since he aggravated an oblique strain this month during an intrasquad game. Hairston hit a few pitches out of the main stadium and sprayed a handful of line drives.

"I felt good," he said. "I wasn't holding back at all."

Hairston hopes to take BP again Monday and said, "If that goes well, like it did [Sunday], then I guess the games are right around the corner."

Bay hit by pitch

Jason Bay was hit in the right forearm by a Stephen Strasburg fastball and had to leave the Mets' 12-0 loss to the Nationals in Viera in the third inning. Bay, who had a wrap with ice on his swollen forearm, said, "Hopefully, disaster avoided."

He wasn't supposed to play Monday anyway, so the earliest he will return is Tuesday.

Olson injures hand

Lefthander Garrett Olson, the leading candidate to replace the injured Tim Byrdak, bruised his left hand when he was struck by a batted ball against the Marlins' Double-A affiliate. X-rays were negative but the team provided no timetable for his return.

Extra bases

Collins said centerfielder Andres Torres felt "a lot better today." Torres still hasn't run after straining his left calf Tuesday . . . Dillon Gee pitched six shutout innings in a minor-league exhibition game.

New York Sports