NEW YORK — Mets captain David Wright is still hoping to return to the major leagues even after surgery Tuesday to fix the rotator cuff in his right shoulder, the latest obstacle in the 34-year-old’s lengthy comeback attempt.
Wright was at Citi Field with his right arm in a sling Thursday night while New York hosted the Cincinnati Reds. He expressed optimism about playing next season, although he’s waiting to see how his throwing arm feels following the operation.
“Let’s see how my body responds to the surgery and we’ll kind of go from there,” Wright said. “I still feel that there’s something that I have to give.”
Wright last played in the majors in May 2016 and had surgery the following month to repair a herniated disc in his neck. He was diagnosed with spinal stenosis in 2015 and appeared in only 75 regular-season games between 2015 and ’16, plus 14 postseason appearances.
The seven-time All-Star spent the majority of this year rehabbing at the club’s spring training complex in Florida, eventually playing in three games for Class A St. Lucie in late August before being shut down with pain in his throwing shoulder.
“I just couldn’t play. I couldn’t throw,” Wright said. “We tried the rehab. It just didn’t work, so after that comes, ‘What can we do surgically to fix this?'”
Wright may have needed the surgery even if he wasn’t still eyeing a comeback. He said that without it, he may not have been able to play catch with his kids.
“At some point, I’m going to want to be able to utilize my right arm in a normal way on kind of a daily basis and this, hopefully, corrects all of that,” Wright said.
Wright has three years and $47 million remaining on an eight-year contract with the Mets, but he understands that New York may look elsewhere for an everyday third baseman over the winter. Wright acknowledged he hasn’t “exactly been able to be counted on these last couple years” and said he would respect the team’s decision to seek a long-term solution at the position.
“From day one this organization, this fan base and this city’s really taken great care of me,” he said. “And if it’s time for them to make a personnel decision or a position change or whatever the case may be, they’ve been so good to me that I want to do whatever’s best for them.”
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