It may have taken until late August, but the New York Mets have finally received some positive injury news. A day after the club said Steven Matz would undergo arm surgery, the team announced third baseman David Wright would play in a minor-league game.
The news comes as a huge shock, as Wright hasn’t played in a professional game since last May due to a number of injuries. Wright hasn’t been healthy since 2015, when it was discovered he was dealing with spinal stenosis.
Wright has attempted to return from that issue, but encountered other injuries along the way. While he was able to play in 37 games in 2016, Wright was shut down due to a herniated disc. He was initially expected to miss 6-8 weeks, but wound up sitting out the rest of the season.
Wright intended to return for 2017, but was shut down with a shoulder issue during spring training. The club has remained silent on his progress since then.
That is, until Tuesday. The Mets announced Wright will serve as the designated hitter for the St. Lucie Mets. It will be his first professional game since May 27, 2016.
That’s all the information we have on Wright at the moment. It’s unclear how long he’ll play, or whether the team has a solid timeline for his return. Rehab assignments typically last between 20-30 days, so it’s possible Wright could see time with the major league club if he remains healthy. We aren’t sure where he would play for the Mets, though, as we have no idea if he’s capable of playing defense yet.
It’s not much to go on, but it’s encouraging to see Wright listed on a lineup card. After being away from the game for most of the past three seasons, it’s easy to forget how great he was early in his career. From 2005 to 2013, Wright hit .302/.384/.505. He was a seven-time All-Star and managed four top-10 finishes in the MVP voting.
Hoping for that version of Wright to return is probably a fool’s errand. At this point, it would be nice to see a happy ending for one of the best players of his era before injuries altered his career. This could be the first step toward that actually happening.
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