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Wright, Putz could rejoin Mets in Denver

Wright, Putz could return in Denver

NEW YORK -- There is a good chance the Mets' roster will become more discernible in Denver during the first few days of September. It is there that both third baseman David Wright and setup man J.J. Putz hope they can rejoin the club.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel said Saturday that he expected Wright, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 16 with a concussion, to come off the DL when he is eligible on Aug. 31. The Mets are off that day, meaning Wright's first game back could be Sept. 1 in Colorado.

"From what I understand, he's on track," Manuel said.

Those comments sat in stark contrast to Manuel's statement last week that Wright might miss the remainder of this season. And he still might. But Wright has been participating in aerobic exercises without pain, and he hopes to graduate to baseball activities within the next few days.

Assuming he suffers no setbacks, Wright would seem to have a realistic shot to return to active duty when rosters expand.

"It's been a gradual process," Wright said.

Putz, too, is inching closer. On the DL since his right elbow surgery in June, Putz threw a 19-pitch bullpen session Saturday and reported no pain. He will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday with Class A Brooklyn, before advancing to Double-A Binghamton and then to the Mets. That schedule should also put Putz on track to rejoin the team in Denver during the first week of September.

"It's like night and day compared to what it felt like [before the surgery]," Putz said of his elbow.

The one Mets injury risk who might not be in Denver is lefty reliever Billy Wagner, who still had heard nothing Saturday regarding a reported waiver claim by the Red Sox. Manuel said he would continue to use Wagner, less than 12 months removed from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, as planned -- particularly against a Phillies team susceptible to quality left-handed pitching.

"I haven't gotten anything that said not to pitch him," Manuel said prior to Saturday's game. "Today is his scheduled day for work. If that opportunity presents itself, unless I hear something different, then definitely I would put him in the game."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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