It turns out the "sore back" that kept David Wright out of Team USA's clash with the Dominican Republic on Thursday night is a little more problematic than it first seemed.
According to New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, Wright is actually dealing with a “moderate" intercostal strain, which will require at least three to five days of rest.
If you do the math, that means Wright is officially out of the World Baseball Classic, and there's also concern the injury will linger into the regular season, forcing Wright to start on the disabled list.
For a little perspective on the potential timetable of Wright's recovery, Comcast SportsNet's Mark Zuckerman provided the following information.
Sounds similar to Desmond last summer. Missed 5 wks. MT @adamrubinespn Alderson says David Wright has moderate intercostal strain on side.
— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) March 15, 2013
Not exactly encouraging, though if I recall correctly Ian Desmond did attempt to play through the injury for a few days before aggravating it and possibly inflating the recovery time. If Wright shut himself down the moment he felt something was wrong, he could be looking at a quicker return. Even then opening day would be no guarantee, but this information at least gives us an idea of what the worst-case scenario looks like.
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Of course this will also lead to questions about superstars interrupting their usual spring preparation to crank it up for the WBC. I honestly don't know that one had to do with the other. A muscle injury of this nature certainly isn't uncommon in spring training, so it just as easily could have happened in a meaningless Grapefruit League game, but somehow that seems easier to stomach.
As for how Team USA will replace their hottest hitter in their elimination game against Puerto Rico on Friday night? It looks like Willie Bloomquist will get another start. Should they advance to the finals, though, they can add an injury replacement to their roster, and as of right now it sounds like that player would be San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley.
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