NEW YORK -- Mets third baseman David Wright, the soul of a team that has lost its way at the plate in consecutive shutout losses, including Wednesday's 2-0 setback in 11 innings, is about to take the first steps toward a return.
Manager Terry Collins spoke Tuesday with Wright, who said he is "extremely optimistic" that he can begin baseball activities next week. Wright has been limited to physical therapy since doctors diagnosed him with spinal stenosis in mid-May. The third baseman has been camped out in Southern California, where spinal specialist Dr. Robert Watkins has been directing his treatment and progress.
According to Collins, Watkins could clear Wright to begin baseball activities on a "limited basis" next week. He is still a ways off from taking batting practice, and, ultimately, from appearing in rehab games, meaning a return is not imminent.
But it still represents progress for a player who has experienced little of it in recent weeks. Wright, 32, has been on the disabled list since April 15 with what was initially just a hamstring strain. Multiple setbacks in the third baseman's rehab resulted in his stenosis diagnosis.
Wright visited the Mets last month in San Diego, and plans to do so again Friday in Los Angeles, according to general manager Sandy Alderson.
"He was very, very upbeat that things are moving along much better than they have been," Collins said. "The point is he's very positive about the way he feels, and those are all good signs."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.