David Wright says he has to be honest with Mets about back
Feb. 19, 2016
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — David Wright realizes he has to be more honest about how his body feels each day.
The New York Mets captain was limited to 38 regular-season games last season because of a hamstring injury and spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal. After hurting his right leg on April 14, he returned Aug. 24, and he was able to play in all 14 of the Mets postseason games as they reached the World Series for the first time since 2000.
"I have to be smart about it," Wright said Friday. "One thing I need to mature and need to become better at is being honest with how I feel on a daily basis — being able to communicate a little better than I have in the past. I've been very stubborn when it comes to giving an honest assessment of injuries or how I feel."
Wright said he took about a month off after the World Series to rest his back, which has set back the third baseman in his offseason routine. Full-squad workouts for Mets position players start Feb. 26.
Manager Terry Collins and Wright plan to speak next week to come up with a spring-training plan. Wright says he likely will ease himself into exhibition games.
"I've done as much research, talked to some of the best doctors in the world: some of the best back doctors in the world, some of the best therapists in the world, to see what I need to do not only to manage my back but also at the same time get ready for the season," Wright said. "I feel like we've come up with a plan that will allow me to hopefully be on the field as much as possible and also get ready physically for a long season.
Wright won't estimate how many games he will be able to play this season.
"If I feel good and I'm producing and it's not hurting my back or hurting the team, then I'm going to be out there," he said.
With the Mets coming off their first NL East title since 2006, general manager Sandy Alderson said he'd like to see Wright play in 130 games this season. Collins declined to offer a target number.
"We just have to be wise enough to know that every so often you're going to get a day off," Collins said. "We've got to do a better job of monitoring some off days. How many? How? When? Right now I can't answer that."
Wright doesn't want the Mets to be overconfident after last year's success or to pay much attention to external expectations.
"I can serve as a cautionary tale," Wright said. "The same thing happened in 2006. In 2007, the expectations were so high and everybody knows what happened. I can speak from experience. Don't let this be a cautionary tale where you think you're going to be given something or you're going to be perennial playoff team and all the sudden you fast-forward a couple years and you haven't been to the playoffs since. The biggest thing is to stay hungry."
Now 33, Wright still hopes to win a World Series title.
"Don't let last year be the pinnacle of what this team is able to accomplish," he said. "Let's take it one step further this year and then we can really celebrate. I think that's the message this spring. Let's follow the lead of the Royals. They made it so close, came back even more hungry the next year and won the World Series."
Notes: The Mets said about 1,500 fans were on hand, their largest crowd for a spring-training workout since moving to the area in 1988.