By Abby Sims
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David Wright and the Mets got some very good news on Monday. The right-handed third baseman’s MRI was negative for structural damage in his left shoulder and revealed only bruising of the rotator cuff (view image). Wright was re-examined on Monday after sitting out the weekend, and the plan now calls for him to rest until rejoining the team on Friday.

Manager Terry Collins had previously been quoted as saying it didn’t appear to be a DL situation. Prior to his MRI, Wright reportedly said that though the shoulder had been problematic for the previous three weeks, “We’ll follow the protocol like normal … and hopefully it would just be some rest and an injection. Hopefully I’ll be back in a couple days.”

Evidently Wright, who pushed through his symptoms since incurring the injury in a slide on an attempted stolen base, didn’t quite learn the lesson his stubborn hamstring should have taught him last season. It was only after tweaking the shoulder further on June 26th that Wright was shut down. He might have ensured a faster recovery and avoided exacerbation of the injury had he rested and received treatment at the outset. But Wright did what most athletes seem to do, regardless of how counterproductive that might be.

A bruise, if that’s all it is, will heal without significant intervention but has to be allowed to do so. Wright had hoped an injection would take care of the matter, but learned on Monday that it wasn’t called for.

Though cortisone can be an effective tool when used appropriately, it doesn’t work miracles and in most cases isn’t the best first-line treatment. This is especially so when there are causative structural or functional factors that must be addressed to prevent recurrence.  Sometimes, though, an injection is an effective adjunct for controlling inflammation so that a more comprehensive treatment program can be progressed. With bruising, which results from direct trauma to the tissue, the antidote is rest.

Without the benefit of more detailed information specific to Wright’s condition, one can only speculate. However, it doesn’t seem prudent for him to rush back, especially without time to first see how his shoulder responds to ramping up his activity. With the All-Star break less than two weeks away, it would seem that that would be a better time to reassess Wright’s progress. After all, the Mets aren’t in a playoff race.

Keep in mind, too, that MRIs are not 100 percent definitive. Hopefully Wright’s is accurate, but there is no guarantee. It will only be after his shoulder successfully rebounds from this injury that discussion of any contributing pathology will be fully laid to rest.

Follow Abby on Twitter @abcsims.

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