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David Wright expected back Friday

NEW YORK -- New York Mets manager Terry Collins expects to have third baseman David Wright in the lineup Friday night when the Mets take on the Florida Marlins in Miami.

"I do (expect him in there)," Collins said.

Wright will be batting fourth behind right fielder Carlos Beltran, Collins said.

Wright, who was placed on the disabled list May 18 with a stress fracture in his lower back, has been rehabbing with Class A St. Lucie. He has played six games with St. Lucie, batting .476 (10-for-21) during the stint.

"You forget what he brings, because this has been our team for so long," left fielder Jason Bay said. "And then it's almost like with all the stuff surrounding Carlos (Beltran), the trades and this and that, it's almost like we're making a trade. We're getting a premier player, adding an impact bat, even though he's our own guy. It's gonna be big for us."

Wright went 2-for-2 with a run scored and two walks and played all nine innings for St. Lucie on Wednesday, but Collins said Wright will have Thursday off.

Initially, the Mets wanted to get Wright 30 to 40 at-bats at Class A, but Collins says that between simulated games and facing left-hander Johan Santana recently, Wright has gotten 33 at-bats already.

"He got some morning games in where he played some," Collins said. "I know he faced Santana the other day and had a simulated game against some of the other pitchers that are in the Gulf Coast League games."

Collins said Wright told him "he feels great and doesn't need another 10 at-bats."

"He said he's healthy and he's ready to go," Collins said. "He's a five-time All-Star, those guys know themselves."

The 28-year-old is hitting .226 with six home runs and 18 RBIs. Collins was asked if he'll limit Wright's time on the field.

"He's been out for three months," Collins said jokingly. "He ought to be rested."

Mike Mazzeo is a frequent contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.