The New York Mets are currently embroiled in their worst slump of the 2015 season. With their latest loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Mets continue to hover around the .500 mark with a record of 41-41. Not only is the offense struggling but so is team captain David Wright as he rehabs from spinal stenosis.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York writes, in his latest piece, that the 32-year-old third baseman is doing everything he can to return to the field this season. The first half of the season is slowly dwindling down and the margin for error is as well. With that in mind, Wright tells Rubin that his chance for a comeback remains hopeful but will need to go smoothly to happen.
“We’re getting down to the second half of the season now, and I feel like I’ve got one shot to get this thing right.”
As the Inquisitr reported in mid-April, Wright was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a condition that involves the narrowing of the spinal canal. The report indicated that his condition could potentially force Wright to retire. It wouldn’t be the first time that spinal stenosis ended a Met players career.
Lenny Dykstra was forced to retire from baseball at age 33 from spinal stenosis. “Nails” as he was known to baseball fans, Dykstra spoke to the New York Daily News about Wright’s injury earlier this year. While he does wish Wright the best, he remains realistic about his chances to return.
“I wish David the best. I know he’s the leader in their clubhouse and he’s gonna want to come back and be the player they need him to be. But it’s going to be very tough for him. I’m still in pain every day and I don’t have to take grounders at third and swing the bat five times a game, every day for six months.”
To give people an idea of how bad the condition has been for Wright, Rubin reports that the seven-time All-Star could not stand upright without experiencing pain just a month ago. That alone is a positive step for Wright as he continues his rehab.
“That’s been an accomplishment as far as just being upright a little longer and walking and being virtually pain-free.”
The article lists three causes as to how Wright could have come down with the debilitating condition. For starters, he could have been born with a narrow spinal to begin with. A stress fracture in his lower back in 2011 led to calcium deposits forming on his back, thus narrowing the canal. Finally, simply being a baseball player who has to torque his body to swing could have led to his condition.
In fact, there exists a surgery for people with spinal stenosis to help get rid of the pain. But as Wright points out, the surgery is more geared toward elderly people and not athletes who rely on their body being able to take a beating for most of the year.
“It’s more for older people. I’m not sure it’s typically meant for people who have to bend over and rotate and have torque for a living. I know there is a surgery for it. I was made aware that there’s a surgery for it. But it hasn’t been recommended. It hasn’t even been talked about.”
The truth is that the Mets offense is in dire need of help. As noted by Rich MacLeod of MLB.com, the last player not named Curtis Granderson to hit a home run for the Mets was Travis d’Arnaud on June 20 against the Atlanta Braves.
While it’s impossible to tell how Wright’s hitting would be at this point, he did get off to strong start this season, batting .333 with one HR and four RBI in eight games before going on the disabled list. It is also impossible to tell when or if Wright will return this year, but he remains optimistic based off his recent progress.
“It’s a slow progress, but it’s a progress indeed. Every day it seems like they challenge me more and more with different things that are not necessarily trying to aggravate it, but are trying to take a step in the right direction to see what my body can handle and what it can’t handle.”
[Image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]