Mets’ Wright returns to NY because of sore ribs

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLA. (AP) - Mets third baseman David Wright flew back to New York to have his sore ribs examined by team doctors.

General manager Sandy Alderson said he expects Wright will return to Port St. Lucie on Saturday.

“In terms of the injury and its severity, we just don’t know any more than David has related already publically,” Alderson said. “So until he’s actually examined, we won’t know the exact nature of the injury, we won’t know the extent of the injury and we won’t have any sort of timetable for his return.”

Wright, who signed an eight-year, $138 million extension with the Mets in the offseason, was a late scratch from Team USA’s lineup against the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic on Thursday night.

Wright will not play against Puerto Rico on Friday night. Team USA manager Joe Torre said he doesn’t expect Wright to be available if the team advances to the semifinals in San Francisco on Sunday and Monday.

While Wright said he had been feeling soreness for almost a week, Alderson said the team was not aware of any issues until Thursday. The decision to pull Wright from the lineup came about 20 minutes before the start of the game, after Wright was fully dressed and had taken batting practice.

“It was yesterday we became aware of the problem and when we became aware of it, we contacted Team USA immediately and had him re-examined,” Alderson said. “We also, in addition to the medical track, on the administrative side, we contacted other team officials. So he was examined and the determination was that he would not play.

“I think David _ I’m not sure when this was first experienced _ he had hoped it would go away. It didn’t and he felt a responsibility to deal with it. Again, when we were alerted, we took what we thought was the right course of action.”

Wright missed most of the spring training games last year with a torn rib cage muscle.

Alderson said he didn’t think the injury was related to a stress fracture Wright suffered in his lower back in 2011.

Wright had been the offensive catalyst for Team USA in the WBC, earning the nickname “Captain America” after batting .438 (7-for-16) with a game-winning grand slam against Italy and 10 RBIs in four games. Wright said he was disappointed by the decision not to play Thursday, something Alderson reiterated Friday.

David’s a guy that doesn’t overreact to things,” Alderson said. “He’s committed, when he makes commitments he wants to execute on them, carry them out and I’m sure he felt a responsibility to Team USA. This was a difficult development for him to accept, but in the final analysis, we felt this was the right thing to do.”

The Mets don’t have a lot of depth at the third base. Zach Lutz is the only other true third baseman on the 40-man roster, but Alderson said he would not address the team situation until Saturday, when he received a diagnosis on Wright.

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