Every March, injuries both nagging and acute cascade through Spring Training camp, unsettling previously settled roster spots, bequeathing Opening Day playing time to organizational depth guys, and inducing untold anxiety in fans and front office decision-makers alike. For the Mets, the effect is seemingly amplified severalfold, as players young and old, healthy and chronically septic, elbow each other aside in an desperate sprint toward the trainer's room.
Hardly a surprise that it's been business as usual with respect to injuries, ailments, and infectious diseases so far this season. Here's a rundown from camp so far.
David Wright: Rib Cage
It's not thought to be severe, but the Mets will proceed cautiously with Wright's rib cage "stiffness." He's been working out and taking fielding practice, doing so without any reported pain or discomfort. Terry Collins expects to hold Wright out of game action until next week, but it doesn't look like this one will sideline him much longer.
Ike Davis: Valley Fever (maybe)
It could just as easily be juggler's despair or achy-breaky pelvis, but Davis was kinda sorta diagnosed with Valley Fever, a fungal disease which appears with some regularity among residents of Arizona, Nevada, and other arid tracts of American desertand. It derailed Conor Jackson's career, but Davis seems to be suffering no symptoms at the moment and has made five Spring Training at-bats so far. It's as likely as not that Davis never actually had Valley Fever, but there was little harm in giving him an extra couple of days off.
Scott Hairston: Left Oblique Strain
Hairston was shelved at the end of last season with this very condition, and Collins is "concerned" and "worried" about his backup outfielder. Side injuries have a niggling way about them, so it'd be hardly surprising to see this one torment Hairston into the season. It's apparently unrelated to his baldness.
Pedro Beato: Sore Left Shoulder
Beato was sent home from school during Tuesday's game with an undisclosed injury, later disclosed as shoulder soreness in his non-pitching (left) arm. He was slated for an MRI on Wednesday but has reported no physical issues with the shoulder.
Robert Carson: Intercostal Strain
Carson suffered a strain among his left intercostal (inter-rib) muscles this week while long-tossing (or something) and will probably miss at least a week of camp. The intercostals are largely responsible for expanding and contracting the chest while breathing, so it's easy to imagine this dragging on a bit for Carson.
Reese Havens: Stiff Back
Nothing new here, except Havens admitting that his passport-stamp-like registry of injuries is "embarrassing". There's no timetable for Havens's return to the field and — please stop me if you've heard this refrain before — lower back injuries tend to linger and recur, so don't hold your breath in anticipation of a speedy recovery.