2017-09-04 14:59:02
David Wright to Have Rotator Cuff Surgery

14:59, September 04 341 0

The once-standout career of Mets third baseman and captain David Wright suffered still another blow on Monday when the Mets announced he would undergo surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder on Tuesday in New York.

The announcement of Wright’s latest physical setback capped another lengthy Mets medical update in which the team announced that four of its players would undergo surgery this week.

In addition to Wright, infielder T.J. Rivera will undergo Tommy John surgery in his right elbow, outfielder Michael Conforto will be operated on to repair a torn capsule in his left shoulder, and reliever Josh Edgin will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

Rivera’s surgery generally requires a yearlong recovery, putting at least the first half of his 2018 season in doubt. But it is Wright’s surgery that has the potential to be career-ending, since he will turn 35 in December and continues to deal with the physical challenges presented by spinal stenosis, a chronic condition that he was found to be suffering from in 2015.

“It’s really, really sad to think that this guy, probably one of the best players in the game, has had to miss the amount of time he’s had to miss with various injuries,” Mets Manager Terry Collins said before Monday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. “I salute him for what he’s had to go through, but it’s really tough to watch.”

Collins also said he did not think Wright was about to retire, asserting that Wright “thinks he owes the game and the organization his max effort to get back on the field and he is doing that.’’

“He’s a special person,’’ Collins added.

Wright last played in a major-league game on May 27, 2016. A week later, he was placed on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his neck. And a short while later, he underwent surgery to address that issue.

Although the Mets then went into 2017 with some hopes that Wright would be able to be at least a part-time contributor, it became clear in spring training — when he encountered significant difficulties with his right shoulder — that he was nowhere near ready to play.

Wright did finally return to action recently in several rehabilitation games for the Mets Class A affiliate in Port. St. Lucie and he actually was targeting a return to the Mets’ active roster before the end of this season. But on Aug. 29 he was shut down because of pain in the same shoulder.

“After playing in a few games, I continued to have shoulder pain. So I decided to go to the doctor and get it checked out,” Wright said in a statement released by the team last week. “Will make any decisions going forward after my appointment.”

Now it turns out that Wright will indeed need surgery again. And considering how many problems his shoulder has caused him — even when he has been able to play in recent seasons his throws from third base were often suspect — any future he may have with the Mets may be at first base, where throwing is less vital.

All of this has been hugely dismaying for the only standout player in Mets history to have played his entire career in Queens. But the expectation of Mets fans that Wright would compile huge career numbers for the Mets by the time he retired have now been essentially dashed.

Nevertheless, Wright does hold the team records in a dozen offensive categories, including hits (1,777), runs batted in (970), runs (949) and doubles (390). Only Ed Kranepool, who played 18 seasons for the Mets without ever being a star, has appeared in more than Mets games than Wright’s 1,583.

Still, since receiving the diagnosis of spinal stenosis in May 2015, Wright — whose career numbers include a .296 batting average, 242 home runs and an .867 on-base-plus-slugging percentage — has played in just 67 games, batting .230 with 11 home runs and 27 r.b.i. He is owed $47 million for the remaining three years on his contract.

Wright’s run of serious injuries actually began in 2011, with a stress fracture in his lower back that cost him two months of the season. Then came a hamstring strain in 2013 that caused him to miss six weeks; inflammation in his right rotator cuff that ended his 2014 season in September; the spinal stenosis diagnosis the shelved him from May to late August 2015, and the herniated disk surgery a year later.

“It’s sad with all the work that he put in all this time and now at this time of the season he has to go and have surgery,” said Jose Reyes, who broke into the Mets alongside Wright on the left side of the infield and rejoined him on the team last year. “You never want that to happen to nobody, especially with all the stuff he’s been through lately. It’s tough.”