Broadcaster At A Loss After Mets Captain Diagnosed With Spinal Stenosis

NEW YORK (WFAN) — Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez says he “got a little bit depressed” with Lucas Duda and Juan Lagares out of the lineup on Sunday. But it was the news about David Wright that really had him down in the dumps.

Wright was diagnosed with spinal stenosis over the weekend after experiencing lingering discomfort in his lower back. The Mets captain has been on the disabled list since straining his right hamstring on April 14, and what was first discussed as an unrelated minor setback has become a major worry.

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“I just don’t know what (Mets GM) Sandy Alderson is gonna do (at third base),” Hernandez told WFAN host Steve Somers after Monday’s 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. “I have no idea whether they’re gonna go to the minor league system or make a trade. I don’t know. I just hope they can hang in there.

“But I am gravely concerned about David Wright.”

Stenosis has forced some athletes into early retirement, David Wilson of the NFL’s New York Giants and former Mets outfielder Lenny Dykstra among them.

For the Mets, losing the face of their franchise for a big chunk of the season — or all of it — would hurt. The worst-case scenario would be devastating.

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“I’m not a doctor, but I’m concerned,” Hernandez said of Wright, who was batting .333 in his first eight games. “I would be kind of happy — and I’m speculating — that if by the All-Star break we get him back.”

Assistant general manager John Ricco said doctors aren’t too worried and don’t believe Wright’s condition to be degenerative. On Monday, his boss, general manager Sandy Alderson, added the team is hopeful the 32-year-old will return “sooner than some are speculating.” Wright is set to continue his rehab in California with back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins.

Meanwhile, the Mets may need to figure out a better solution than Daniel Murphy or Eric Campbell at the hot corner.

“That’s why they pay Sandy the big bucks, and I’m sure that they’re going to be thinking long and hard about this,” Hernandez said. “I just feel that if David’s going to miss significant time and this team wants to compete and have a chance to get into the playoffs and a wild card or whatever, they’re going to have to make some decisions in the next two weeks.”

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Wright signed an eight-year, $138 million extension in December 2012.