When Mets third baseman David Wright injured his right hamstring in early August, the team indicated he could miss somewhere on the order of three to five weeks. Given the severity (Grade 2, or moderate), some thought it would be wise for the Mets to shut him down and start fresh next year. For his part, Wright made it clear that it would go against everything he believed in if he just put a lid on the season.
The concern on the part of fans is understandable. Why rush a player back to a team that’s out of contention and risk a setback and a potentially more serious injury?
The key word is "rush." As long as there was no pressure, no "rush" to return, Wright’s goal of returning is not only admirable, it is smart. If an athlete is healthy enough to return to competition, why not have him do so? The risk of not returning is going the entire offseason with the question mark of wondering how the leg will respond all that time later.
It sounds as if Wright’s progression has been logical and step-wise. He began fielding ground balls last week, followed by baserunning days later. The next step was batting practice, and now he appears to be knocking on the door of a return to the lineup. Of course, with hamstrings there is no way to know if one is truly healthy until the athlete returns to competition ... and gets through it without a setback.
Wright has done all of the right things to work his way back and is now a little more than six weeks post-injury. It’s hard not to get excited about a hardworking, highly motivated athlete as part of a fantasy lineup. Wright could rejoin the Mets during their series this week against the San Francisco Giants, and it sounds as if he plans on playing just as he always does. Hopefully, his rehabilitated hamstring will cooperate.