JUPITER, Fla. -- If there was any doubt that David Wright had lost his influence as the captain in the Mets clubhouse, that notion was put to rest Tuesday when the team reacted to the news that Wright had been diagnosed with a shoulder impingement and shut down from his throwing program indefinitely.
With Wright in New York and the team readying for a Grapefruit League game in Florida, several members of the team approached manager Terry Collins to ask about the third baseman, which he took as a sign of respect.
Is David Wright done for good?
"They asked today," Collins said, following the Mets 3-1 win over the Marlins. "They asked me, 'Have you heard about David? What happened with David today?' To the man. And that just tells you their feelings towards the guy."
Wright made Collins aware of the discomfort and his inability to fully extend his arm while playing catch, saying Wright told him that something would need to be done sooner rather than later in the hopes of still playing this season.
"That's why he said, 'Look, I've got to do something to get rid of the pain,'" Collins said. "I will tell you guys something: This kid is a team player. He's already voiced to me early in early in spring that he knows he's got to produce. 'Don't worry about where I can hit in the lineup. If I can hit, I'll play or hit anywhere.' He came in the other day and said, 'I think I need to get a first baseman's glove.' That's the kind of guy he is.
"That's why we need him. That's why we need him in our clubhouse and on our bench and on our team. His presence and his professionalism is hard to find."
At this point, the organization is in wait-and-see mode. There's nothing anyone can do until they know what the next step is in his recovery. Jose Reyes will start focusing his efforts on playing third base before departing for the World Baseball Classic. General manager Sandy Alderson said Wright can still DH, and Collins said he'll continue to give him as many at-bats as he wants or needs.
But it doesn't appear as if Wright is ready to hang up his cleats right now, and the Mets aren't about to give up on their captain either.
"He's not going to stand in the way of us progressing in spring training," Collins said. "He'll get on a program, he'll do his stuff. But I know one thing, he'll be there with us in spirit every day.
"He'll be in that clubhouse every day leading the charge like he always has."
Abbey Mastracco may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @abbeymastracco. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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