David Wright's shoulder -- not his back -- and his inability to throw is what derailed his return to the Mets this season, he told the NY Post's Kevin Kernan. And now that he's had surgery to correct the issue, he says he's confident he'll be able to play in 2018.
"I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders,'' Wright told Kernan, when the two talked last week at Citi Field. "At least now, I have peace of mind, and hope, that if all goes well with the surgery, this is what they thought it was and that's corrected now."
Wright, who underwent rotator cuff surgery last week, recently said he has not considered retirement and that he remains focused on returning to the Mets.
"I think I still have something to give," he added. "There's still kind of that passion and that fire in me."
After sitting idle for five months with a shoulder impingement, Wright tested his shoulder during three games with High-A St. Lucie in late-August. After again experiencing more pain when trying to throw, Wright terminated the rehab. The next day's MRI revealed deterioration of his rotator cuff and labrum, which were surgically repaired the following week.
"I hope the shoulder responds well and I can at least get back to the way my arm felt pre-neck surgery," he continued. "I feel like that is when everything kind of started to go wrong with my shoulder because I never had any arm problems."
The 34-year-old has been limited to 75 games the past three seasons due to issues associated with his hamstring, upper spine and lumbar spinal stenosis -- a condition in his lower back that he will forever need to monitor.
Wright played in just 37 games last season due to a herniated disc in his upper-spine, which led to corrective surgery and the pain in his shoulder that was addressed surgically.
"The back is what it is," Wright recently said about his chronic spinal stenosis condition. "I've kind of been accustomed to just dealing with that. ... but for right now, my shoulder was the biggest thing keeping me from playing baseball. I just couldn't do it."
According to Wright, the Mets have yet to push him on moving to first base, though he told Kernan he is open to anything the team needs him to do to remain on field in the future.