David Wright headed to DL; Mets to be without 3B for extended period

NEW YORK -- Mets third baseman David Wright is headed to the disabled list with a herniated disk in his neck and is expected to be out for a prolonged period, a source said.

Wright tried oral anti-inflammatory medication and then received an injection in his neck in the past week, but neither sufficiently alleviated the symptoms in order for him to return to the field.

Wright will not undergo surgery yet, a source said, although it isn't off the table down the road.

Manager Terry Collins recently indicated that the herniated disk issue is similar to one that reliever Bobby Parnell endured while with the Mets a few seasons ago. Parnell ultimately did require surgery to address that issue in September 2013.

Infielder Matt Reynolds will be promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas to take Wright's roster spot.

From an injury perspective, it has been a challenging time for the 33-year-old Wright. He missed four months of last season because of spinal stenosis in his lower back. That issue continues to torment Wright, who always deals with some level of back discomfort.

"This guy has been a special player in baseball," Collins said Tuesday, when the seriousness of the neck issue became apparent. "Certainly being the captain and the face of this organization, a manager's worst nightmare is to see a star start to fade. I think David's got a lot of baseball left in him because of the way he prepares and the way he gets himself ready. But it's hard to watch what he's going through ... as good as he was. I'll tell you: There's a lot of guys in this room that would not do what he does every day just to get ready to go play a baseball game. He's still special. He's still a great player."

The short-term answer during Wright's absence appears to be primarily using Wilmer Flores at third base.

The Mets have resisted a more radical maneuver that would move Neil Walker to third base and add second-base prospect Dilson Herrera from Las Vegas.

With first baseman Lucas Duda also out for an extended period with a stress fracture in his lower back, general manager Sandy Alderson may be required to upgrade the Mets' lineup again from outside the organization. Last July, Alderson brought inYoenis Cespedes, Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson to bolster the team's production.

The Mets do have protection for extended Wright absences. They began recouping 75 percent of his salary last year after his absence for the spinal stenosis exceeded 60 days. That would again be the case going forward.

Wright will earn $20 million a season through 2018, then $15 million in '19 and $12 million in '20.

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Jayson Stark details what the future holds for Mets third baseman David Wright after the team placed him on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his neck.
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