The most appropriate way to address the news that New York Mets’ third baseman David Wright’s latest injury has landed him an extended stay on the disabled list is to borrow a line from one of the Mets most notable celebrity fans, Chris Rock: “Again?”

Last year it was spinal stenosis in his lower back and now the player many  baseball fans used to view as a future Hall of Famer, is struggling to make it from the hallway outside the clubhouse to the field of play. The latest blow could put Wright’s career in danger.

Friday, the Mets announced Wright would miss 6-8 weeks with a herniated disk in his neck, with manager Terry Collins intimating that surgery was “not discussed” as far as he was aware.

On Monday, Collins voiced concern about Wright having significant discomfort in his neck, forcing the team doctors to administer an oral inflammatory as well as an injection into Wright’s neck in the hope of staving off a trip to the DL.


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“The condition he’s been playing in and the condition he’s in right now, yeah I’m concerned about it,” Collins told reporters Monday morning. “I know this guy plays with a lot of discomfort. He always has. When he can’t play, he’s hurt. So yeah, I’m concerned about it.”

Collins fears were confirmed Friday, as reports began to leak out that Wright would likely miss a large chunk of action and be placed on the disabled list.

The news could not have come a worse time for Wright, 33, who had homered in three consecutive games before being scratched for last weekend’s series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. A herniated disk in Wright’s neck will keep him out for “significant time,”  dashing General Manager Sandy Alderson’s hopes of “Captain America” playing 130 games in 2016.

Is this the End for No. 5?

In order to answer this question we must first look back to where the rapid deterioration of Wright’s body began.

Since he came up to the big club in 2005, Wright has endured a multitude of injuries. The difference in recent years is that he has grown a little longer in the tooth, therefore, the injuries themselves have taken more of a toll.

Sure, he had hamstring and elbow issues in his younger days, but his first trip to the disabled list may have been a precursor to what has become a harsh reality in the second half of Wright’s career: he struggles to stay on the field.

August 15, 2009, a day that will live in infamy in the minds of metropolitan fans. Their beloved No. 5, a thick, third baseman, with bulbous forearms and a smile every mother would love, was in the middle of his prime. His power numbers were down significantly from the year prior when Wright finished eighth in the NL MVP voting with 33 home runs, 124 runs batted in and a .302 batting average, but he had his average around .300 and was in the lineup almost everyday.

That was until San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain drilled Wright in the helmet with a 93 MPH fastball. Wright fell to the ground, slowly scrambling for his senses. He was helped off the field and treated at Manhattan’s Hospital for Special Surgery where his CT Scan came back negative.

I am positive, that day began the downward spiral in Wright’s career, just look at the numbers.

In the four full seasons Wright played, including 2009, he hit 30-plus homers, never finished with less than 102 RBI and hit a minimum of .302. In 2010, he managed 29 homers, drove in 103 runs and batted .283.

The Norfolk, Virginia, native hasn’t approached even a glimmer of those numbers since, with 21 HRs and 93 RBI standing as his next closest totals for a season. The fewest number of games Wright played in through 2009 was 144, that same season where he was sent to the DL with a concussion as a result of Cain’s loose cannon. Absent 2012, where he played in 154 games, his next closest total is 134 games played in 2014. The other seasons lost to hamstring pulls, and back issues, with totals like 102 (2011), 112 (2013) and 38 (2015) games played.

It didn’t help that the Mets beloved Captain was hit in the head again in September of 2013 by Milwaukee Brewers starter Johnny Hellweg. Since, fans have held their collective breath, waiting for the next shoe, or helmet, to drop.

That moment came today. But the end began nearly seven years ago.

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