JUPITER, Fla. -- The fleeting glances have come here and there: David Wright taking batting practice, Wright performing fielding drills, Wright playing in an intrasquad Minor League game.
It will all turn into something more tangible Friday night, when Wright plays in a Grapefruit League game for the first time this spring. The Mets expect the third baseman to appear in their game against the Nationals under the lights at Tradition Field (6:10 p.m. ET, MLB.TV), after he spent weeks easing into his spring workload.
"I'd like to play somewhat regularly before the season starts," Wright said this week. "I don't want my first real regular action to be ... in Kansas City [in the regular-season opener]. I'd like to build it up before then."
Wright took a significant step toward that goal Monday, when he received five at-bats in a Minor League game. He followed that up with a live batting-practice session Tuesday, taking his hacks against reliever Josh Edgin.
Following Wednesday's team off-day, Wright will reprise his role as a designated hitter in a Minor League game Thursday, before joining the Mets for their Grapefruit League game Friday against the Nats. The team has not announced if Wright will play the field, though his stated goal is to begin building up his innings at third base as soon as possible.
"This is a gradual process," Wright said. "I've got to play the field in Kansas City. At-bats were first, trying to get that timing issue down. But I'm sure sometime soon I'm going to go out in the field and gradually work my way up there, just like every other player in Spring Training."
Wright is behind schedule this spring by design. After being diagnosed with spinal stenosis last year and missing four months of the season, Wright chose to rest as much as possible this winter before reporting to camp. Upon arriving, he and manager Terry Collins drew up a plan that would ease the stress off the veteran's back, knowing he will never fully be able to heal his condition.
"This was exactly what we discussed before camp even started," Wright said. "We're exactly right on schedule."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.