PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis says he’s ready to play despite being diagnosed with valley fever. Third baseman David Wright, meanwhile, will sit for a bit.
Beset by injuries last season, the Mets haven’t gotten too many breaks this year, either.
Wright has been slowed by soreness around his left ribcage. Scratched from an intrasquad game Saturday, the All-Star was told Sunday by manager Terry Collins he wouldn’t play Monday night or Tuesday when the Mets start the exhibition schedule.
“If this was opening day, I’d be playing 100 percent,” Wright said.
Davis said he felt fine. Valley fever is a fungal infection that is released from the dirt in desert regions of the Southwest and can cause extreme fatigue. Davis lives in Arizona in the offseason.
“Forty percent of people who live in Arizona get it during their life. It’s person-by-person, but it can take a year (to get over it). I could’ve had this for a year and not known it,” he said.
Valley fever requires no medication. The Mets said the illness is expected to resolve itself.
“I feel great, and I don’t have any symptoms of it,” Davis said. “I’m not coughing or throwing up blood. It’s not even hard to breathe. The doctor said I can play, but I can’t get fatigued.”
The team sent out a statement late Saturday night saying the 24-year-old Davis, originally thought to have a lung infection, had a different illness.
Davis hasn’t changed anything about his workouts and hasn’t reduced his participation in drills.
“I don’t think this is going to be a problem. I just need to be really healthy and keep my immune system strong,” he said.
An ankle injury limited Davis to 36 games last year, but he said he doesn’t expect this setback to slow him down much. If he feels tired during the spring, he said, he will just take a break.
The Mets have said Davis’ blood test is negative. A specialist has speculated that Davis has valley fever.
“The tests that we have, which include the X-ray, a follow-up to that, as well as the blood test, aren’t necessarily conclusive because the blood test came back negative,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said.
“There can be a delay of some period of time, so the blood test might become positive at a later date. What we have is a working diagnosis,” he said.
Wright said the decision to keep him out of the lineup may have had something to do with Scott Hairston hurting his left oblique muscle Saturday — the same injury to his side that forced the outfielder to finish last season on the disabled list.
“In light of Scotty yesterday, I think it opened up my eyes. You hate to see a guy go down, but it’d be worse if two guys go down,” Wright said.
“I think I can play, but it was taken out of my hands. Terry made it very simple for me and told me I was not playing,” he said.
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