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David Wright to see spine specialist, surgery not an option

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David Wright plays in only eight games for the Mets this season.Al Bello/Getty Images

David Wright plays in only eight games for the Mets this season.

The Mets hope to have a better idea of the scope of David Wright’s back injury within the next few days. The Mets third baseman traveled to California to work with the physical therapists at the renowned Watkins Spine clinic.

Wright, who was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, is expected to be evaluated by therapists and participate in a three-phase rehab program at the clinic, Sandy Alderson said Monday.

Surgery is not an option for Wright, at least at this stage, Alderson said.

“There comes a time when we have to,” the Mets GM said of making a move. “We should know more in two, three or four more days. Get some more input from Dr. (Robert) Watkins. And his office.

“Honestly until three or four days ago I thought this would be a more temporary situation,” Alderson said. “But as he has had setbacks, we have to address how to go forward. We are a few days away from knowing what we have to do and hopefully having a more concrete idea of when he will be back.”

Wright landed on the disabled list after playing in just 8 games this season. He was initially placed on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, but suffered lower back pain during the rehab. The Mets announced Saturday he was shut down for the second time in just over two weeks with the lower back issue.

“David had been progressing with activity, but the discomfort was lingering,” Alderson said. “There was some concern, so we decided we would back him off. Then have him fly to California to see Dr. Watkins. He will be out there next week to work with his physical therapists.

“We hope (that) after a week he will resume his rehab. But realistically we must wait two or three days after he is seen by Dr. Watkins and the physical therapists. It’s been a stop-start proposition for us since the beginning, there has been a continuation of lack of progression.

“Hopefully we will see him much sooner than some have speculated.”

A renowned spinal surgeon, Dr. Watkins had been consulting on Wright’s case since the beginning, Alderson said, and this is not considered a second opinion.

“None of the doctors at this point have given any indication that this is a long term problem that can’t be managed,” Alderson said.

While Alderson indicated that he had been searching both internally and externally for players that could help the struggling lineup, there hasn’t been much discovery on either front. He did say that Triple-A shortstop Matt Reynolds could be considered an option at some point.

Another option to boost the offense is the return of Travis d’Arnaud, who has been out with a broken hand since April 21. He is expected to play five innings in an extended spring training game Tuesday and if he comes through that OK, he will quickly advance to the Florida State League Class-A team to catch and be the designated hitter in a few games. He will then head to Triple-A Las Vegas. Alderson said there is a possibility d’Arnaud could rejoin the Mets in San Diego at the beginning of next week or in Phoenix at the end of the week

“San Diego is possible, but hopefully by Arizona,” Alderson said.

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Baseball – NY Daily News