NEW YORK -- New York Mets third baseman David Wright, who hoped to gain clearance Friday to ramp up physical activity, instead was told by a team doctor to stay inactive for three more weeks. As a result, Wright cannot return to the majors until at least mid-July.
GM Sandy Alderson said the recommendation from Dr. Patrick O'Leary for continued inactivity -- with the exception of limited core exercises -- came as a surprise because it was based on three-week-old X-rays of the stress fracture in Wright's lower back.
"I was going there hoping that at least soon I could start baseball stuff," Wright said. "It doesn't look like that's going to be the case."
Wright did not undergo any new X-rays or diagnostic tests at Friday's examination.
Asked why medical staff did not simply recommend that Wright be shut down for six weeks during the previous exam, since no new information came from Friday's visit to the Hospital for Special Surgery, Alderson said: "Look, I've told you I was a little surprised. But it is what it is. ... The doctor said based on the [former] X-ray and the degree of fracture in that bone that he needs to remain essentially inactive -- but for core exercises -- for another three weeks. So we will be without David for that period of time.
"I think really what it was based on was the original picture and the notion that, look, this is how long bones take to heal. I was a little surprised by the result. I had hoped if David had been asymptomatic that he would be cleared for baseball activity. But I think the doctor felt, and rightly so, that this is something that needs time to heal, and a typical time frame for that is about six weeks. I'm sure David put up an argument. Nonetheless, we'll be without him for the next three weeks."
Wright suggested perhaps the revision is the result of the injury occurring, or worsening, on an April 19 play at Citi Field, yet him continuing to play until landing on the DL May 18.
"According to the doctors, for a bone to heal or repair itself or be better, it takes about six weeks," Wright said. "I was hopeful, and I think the doctors were hopeful, the six weeks might have started after the injury and not after I stopped playing. It might have been wishful thinking that it was healing itself while I was still playing, but obviously that wasn't the case. ... It's a common injury, but the fracture is in a very uncommon place. From what I understand, there's not a lot of cases they can go back to and say, 'This is how long it takes,' or 'This is what happens.'"
Wright said he could not protest too much about being told to stay inactive.
"The doctors are the doctors for a reason," he said. "I'm sure they're looking out for my best interest. You can only argue so much. When a back specialist, a spine specialist, tells you to do something, you can try to argue, try to make (a) point. But, at the end of the day, they're the specialist in that field."
The news came the same week first baseman Ike Davis was examined because a three-week-old ankle injury was not healing properly. After being examined Tuesday, Davis was placed in a boot and told to remain inactive for three more weeks as well.
Alderson did muster some gallows humor, noting that left-hander Johan Santana is progressing from shoulder surgery toward a July return. "Maybe we'll have David back for Santana's first start," Alderson deadpanned. "You never know."
Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com.