Wright participates in complete workout

Wright participates in complete workout

Wright participates in complete workout
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- David Wright's full morning of drills highlighted the Mets' most optimistic collection of injury news in some time, with outfielders Andres Torres and Scott Hairston also encouraged by Thursday's progress.

For the first time in nearly three weeks, Wright participated in a complete workout, including live batting practice, fielding drills and throwing with his teammates.

"Everything but the game," Wright said.

And that could come as soon as early next week, after Wright participates in a few more full days of practice.

Wright is recovering from a strained left abdominal muscle and recently took a cortisone injection to speed the healing process. And though he has yet to play in a Grapefruit League game, he is confident he can amass enough at-bats in Minor League games, if necessary, to be ready for Opening Day.

"At least in my eyes, this was kind of like the first day for me of Spring Training," he said. "I feel about as good as I can feel the first time picking up a bat in a few weeks. Hopefully, it gets better from here, results-wise."

The news was equally encouraging for Hairston, who strained his left oblique early in camp and has been even slower to heal than Wright, despite receiving three cortisone shots in his midsection. Hairston swung a bat on Thursday morning for the first time since his injury, classifying the exercise as "terrific" and "very encouraging."

"I was very happy with the way things went," said Hairston, who plans on hitting off a tee and participating in soft-toss drills on Friday. "Today was great. I felt fine doing what I did."

If Hairston can heal quickly enough to be ready for Opening Day, it would ease the strain on a Mets team still puzzling over its center-field situation. Exacerbating those circumstances is a minor injury to the left calf of Torres, who woke up on Thursday feeling better and who plans to return to Grapefruit League action soon.

"I'm hoping a few more days," Torres said. "It's a mild injury. Today I feel a little better, and we'll go day by day to see how it's going to feel. But I don't want to rush it."

If he keeps improving and all else goes according to plan for the Mets, Torres will start in center field on Opening Day, with Hairston on the bench. That alignment would allow the Mets to carry either Mike Baxter or Adam Loewen as their fifth outfielder without having to expose either to center field on a regular basis.

In the meantime, the Mets continued experimenting at the position on Thursday, inserting infield prospect Jordany Valdespin in center in the eighth inning. Valdespin made one putout in his outfield debut, zigzagging uncertainly on his route to catch Jason Castro's routine fly ball.