If David Wright's career is over — the third baseman told the media Thursday he was undergoing surgery on a herniated disk in his neck — he's been through it all.
Wright was a member of the 2006 New York squad that fell ever so shy of a World Series berth. He was in the heart of the order when the team collapsed not once, but twice in September 2007 and September 2008. And he was the veteran leader when the Mets made a run all the way to the World Series in 2015 before falling to the Royals.
At 33, Wright has had injury woes on and off for his entire career. And as such, his talent might not be enough for a trip to Cooperstown, as his inability to stay on the field has been his only downfall.
In a statement, Wright said: "After trying every way to get back on the field, I've come to realize that it's best for me, my teammates and the organization to proceed with surgery at this time."
"My neck simply did not respond to any of the treatments of the past few weeks. While incredibly frustrating and disappointing, I am determined to make a full recovery and get back on the field as soon as I can to help the Mets win. I greatly appreciate the support of my teammates and our fans throughout the last few weeks."
Initially hoping he could treat his injury with rest, surgery proved to be the best option. The Mets have not handicapped a timetable for a return and said it "will be determined based on the results of the procedure and the progress of his recovery."
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The Mets will recoup a large chunk of Wright's salary due to their decision to take out insurance on the $20 million Wright will receive annually until 2020.
Wright has played appeared in 37 games this season (one more than he did last season) and is hitting .226 with seven homers and 14 RBI.
Mets manager Terry Collins recounted the tiresome and strenuous preparation it took Wright to get ready for a game.
"And all of a sudden, seeing the last two years what he's had to go through," the manager told the media. "He's at the park at 11:30 [a.m.] for an 8 o'clock game — to stretch and to get massaged and to do all the things that just enabled him to get on the field. It just showed you his dedication to be as good as he could possibly be and how he feels about the game and how he feels about this organization — that he's got to be the guy. And he did whatever he could to be that guy."
There is cause for some optimism at least, as there is some precedent for a productive return after this particular surgery. Peyton Manning had similar issues and a similar procedure, and was able to have a few of the best years of his career with the Broncos. Wright hopes, no doubt, he can do the same.