NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York Mets captain David Wright will return to the field in 2018.
During a press conference at Citi Field on Thursday, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon announced that Wright would be activated for New York’s final homestand, which begins on Sept. 25. The third baseman is expected to start against the Miami Marlins on Sept. 29.
Wright added that it will be up to manager Mickey Callaway if he plays in any other games on the homestand.
The news of his return came with a stunning admission by Wright, who said his recovery from multiple injuries has not progressed to the point where he will be able to play again after 2018. The team said Wright is not officially retiring, but he would be medically unable to play moving forward.
“I don’t see (more) as a possibility,” Wright told reporters about playing in 2019.
The franchise’s hits leader, Wright has not played in a major league game since 2016 due to neck and shoulder surgeries and his ongoing battle with spinal stenosis.
“It’s debilitating to play baseball,” Wright admitted.
In an emotional speech, the lifelong Met thanked his teammates, family, and the organization for helping him to return to the active roster for one final time. The 35-year-old told reporters he wished things had turned out differently, but did not have any regrets about his career.
“I was extremely lucky to have the career I had surrounded by the people I had,” Wright said. “I love the game, I truly do… I miss it.”
Wright took live batting practice Tuesday at Citi Field as he continued his comeback, which started in the minor leagues earlier this year.
Wright is making $20 million in 2018 and is due $27 million over the next two seasons. When the Mets reinstate him from the 60-day disabled list, it would likely diminish the amount of insurance money they could collect on his contract. Wilpon said in his opening statement that the team’s decision was not based on Wright’s salary or the insurance ramifications.