Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

I'm a Ballplayer Again

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

I'm a Ballplayer Again

Article excerpt

LOS ANGELES - David Wright reached first base at Dodger Stadium on Friday night, bent forward, elicited a loud roar, and pumped his first.

Three months earlier, in this same stadium, Wright was watching from the sidelines with spinal stenosis, and there were questions if he would play again this year.

Wright did make it back to his team, and delivered the difference- making single in the Mets' 3-1 win over the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLDS on Friday night.

"You rewind a couple of months and, obviously, I was a spectator out here and wasn't able to participate and join in all the fun," Wright said after Friday night's win. "Being able to kind of come full circle and able to enjoy it as a baseball player, that meant a lot."

As Wright enjoys his second postseason experience, it's in Los Angeles that he rehabbed and learned techniques that helped him play with spinal stenosis.

Wright worked with Dr. Robert Watkins, and learned tips on how to deal with his condition from Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, whose career was shortened by back issues.

"I feel like a baseball player, that's nice, instead of feeling like a patient or somebody going to a therapy session every day," Wright said.

"I feel like a baseball player getting in a routine and in the mind-set of thinking about the game and the ins and outs rather than what time is my appointment today and trying to do the math of what time the Mets game is so I can make sure I'm home to watch it. I think the mind-set is completely different."

While Wright always maintained he would return to the Mets this year, there were questions about whether he would be able to help the team's playoff push.

Wright originally landed on the disabled list with a pulled hamstring, and it was later revealed he had spinal stenosis. That extended his time on the DL, and ultimately caused him to miss more than four months before he returned to the club in August. …

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