Duda visits Mets in Miami, taking things slow

First baseman on DL since May 21 with stress fracture in lower back

Duda visits Mets in Miami, taking things slow

MIAMI -- A few days ago, in his continued attempts to stay as optimistic as possible regarding the stress fracture in his lower back, Mets first baseman Lucas Duda sought out an expert. Duda spoke to teammate David Wright, who suffered an identical injury in 2011 that he believes played a role in his current back condition.

Wright's message was to take things slow.

"He just said it's kind of a process," said Duda, who discussed his injury publicly for the first time since landing on the disabled list on May 21. "It takes time. You've just got to deal with it. There are no shortcuts. There's no easy way about it. It's just time."

Like teammate Zack Wheeler earlier this weekend, Duda made the two-hour drive down from Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Sunday to see his teammates in Miami. The past week has seen Duda do little beyond ride a stationary bike and receive treatment on his back, for an injury that should prevent him from participating in baseball activities for roughly the next month.

Duda's injury is one of several major ones currently affecting the Mets, who are also without Wright (herniated disc in his neck) and starting catcher Travis d'Arnaud (strained right rotator cuff).

"It's definitely tough, to say the least," said Duda, who was batting .231 with seven homers in 39 games prior to his injury. "From my perspective, it's pretty tough knowing that guys are battling and not playing at the physical top of their health. It's tough. It's a tough deal for me to just watch every night. But I've got to deal with it, and I'll be back as soon as possible."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. 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.