Mets third baseman David Wright is poised to begin a rehab assignment with High-A Lucie, the team announced Saturday. It hasn’t been two weeks since club GM John Ricco said the infielder was “coming up against the clock” in order to play this season, and while there still doesn’t appear to be a definite timetable for his return to the majors, it’s a big step forward as he looks to resume his pro ball career.
Wright, 35, hasn’t played in a major league game since May 2016 and hasn’t appeared at any level of professional baseball since last August. His injuries have been numerous and varied; in the years following his final game in the majors, he’s suffered multiple back, shoulder, and neck issues and undergone neck surgery, right rotator cuff surgery, and a laminotomy procedure on his lower back. He’s been limited in his baseball activities since then, naturally, only taking batting practice and fielding grounders on a few occasions at Citi Field, and finally appears healthy enough to take the next step in his recovery process.
Of course, there’s no way to guarantee that future injuries aren’t in Wright’s future or that he’ll make it back to the majors anytime soon — let alone return to the .300+ average, 30+ homers, and 100+ RBI he posted in his prime. For now, he’ll work on making smaller gains, starting with the five innings he’s scheduled to play during High-A Lucie’s match against the Phillies’ Clearwater Threshers on Sunday.