So far, the program is working for David Wright and the Mets
Since returning from the disabled list at the beginning of September, David Wright has arguably exceeded expectations as he continues to navigate through spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column which in his case, exists in his lumbar spine.
Wright has said he has a 90-minute preparation routine which he must go through in order to play. This includes specialized running, A targeted stretching routine which he performs both indoors and during the club’s batting practice routine, and other forms of treatment before he even dresses.
In addition, his plan and routine includes no more than three consecutives games or days in which he plays. That plan should still allow Wright to play in every single playoff game, as the Mets will not play in more than three consecutive games without an off-day.
So far, the program has worked for the Mets captain.
He has played in 24 games since returning from the disabled list on August 24. He has slugged seven doubles, three home runs and driven in ten while hitting .290/.366/.450 in 112 plate appearances.
And lately, he’s been even better than that.
“We have sat down and gone over this schedule pretty intensely,” manager Terry Collins said about Wright at Citi Field earlier this week.” One of the things he has talked to me about a couple of times, after three or four days, he is pretty stiff.”
Wright wants to play everyday as much as anyone, but he realizes his limitations thanks to this injury. After every game, Wright can be seen roaming the clubhouse with a heavy ice pack wrapped around his waste which reaches his middle back. This is an effort to reduce the inflammation along with the aches and pains from the injury caused by the daily grind he endures.
And Collins knows how taxing this all is on his third baseman, despite his surprisingly good performance since returning from the disabled list.
After playing three consecutive games against the Yankees last weekend, Wright considered playing on Monday against the Braves. But knowing a day off could be vital and necessary for Wright, Collins opted not to include him in that day’s starting lineup.
“He said he would revisit it on Monday,” Collins said, “I wrote the lineup when he got here today. He didn’t come rushing into my office, so I think he is OK with the plan.”
For now, Wright and the Mets are benefitting from this set and rigid program. They have enough depth to live without Wright for a day here and there thanks to the addition of Juan Uribe.
How this plays out over time is anyone’s guess. But the MEts must now consider having quality depth behind Wright going forward. Whether that’s Uribe or anyone else, he may not ever be able to play everyday again.
But as long as the club is prepared for that possibility, that’s the important thing both for him and the team.