Mets third baseman David Wright has been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column that can cause back and leg problems. Wright, who was already on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, will take a week off before resuming normal baseball activities and seeing how his body reacts.
“Well, of course you never like to see a guy like David out and hurt,” former Mets general manager Omar Minaya told Damon Amendolara, who was filling in as host of The Jim Rome Show. “First of all, what I’m hearing is that it’s something that is not serious like some other cases. That’s what I’m hoping because David Wright is a great player, a great teammate – just a super guy. He’s good for the game . . . so let’s hope it’s not (a) serious injury. I’ll be praying that whatever injury David has is not a serious one.”
Being out has to be extremely frustrating for Wright, especially since the Mets (24-21 entering play May 25) have been competitive this year and are right in the thick of things in the NL East.
“No doubt about it,” Minaya said. “David wants to play every day. David is a competitor. He loves to play. He loves to compete. So it’s definitely hard for him to be out. David is a pro.”
Wright played in 154+ games five times in six seasons from 2005 to 2010 but has since reached that mark only once.
“You have injuries,” Minaya said. “In a player’s career, they’ll go through these phases in their career. One thing about David, he’s such a well-rounded player. He’s a guy who has the ability to steal bases, he’s got power, he’s a hitter, he’s well-rounded, he plays hard. Guys like that, sometimes they will have these small injuries. It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen with all the good players. They have moments where they will be hurt. I’m hoping that this phase in David’s career is over so hopefully when he comes back he’s able to play.”
Minaya expects Wright to be back this season.
“There’s still a lot of baseball left,” he said. “My guess is that he will be back. We only have a quarter of the season so far, so there’s a lot of baseball left, and my hope is that he gets back because he was having a good year and he’s (got) a leadership role with this team, and this team is a contending team.
“They’re going to be able to give him some rest,” Minaya continued. “Early in (his) career, he was playing every day. When you get a little bit older, (you need more rest). I’m sure Terry (Collins is) going to pick his spots and give him some rest.”
While the hamstring injury should heal just fine, spinal stenosis isn’t as straightforward. It’s the same ailment that forced Lenny Dykstra into retirement at 35 and former New York Giants running back David Wilson into retirement at 23. Wright, 32, is signed through 2020 and owed more than $100 million.
Minaya was asked if he thinks Wright will play again.
“Oh, no doubt,” he said. “Yeah, I believe so. Just based on the reports I’ve heard, they seem to be confident that he’s going to be okay.”