NEW YORK (AP) David Wright avoided the disabled list Tuesday, at least for now.
Hoping their ailing third baseman can return in a few days from a herniated disk in his neck, the New York Mets optioned utility player Eric Campbell to Triple-A Las Vegas when they needed to open a roster spot for new first baseman James Loney.
Wright sat out his fourth straight game as the Mets lost 6-4 to the Chicago White Sox. The team captain was examined earlier in the day by doctors and given an injection that requires 48 hours to take effect, manager Terry Collins said.
''Obviously, a herniated disk can be a serious thing. They can come back. We will have to wait,'' Collins said. ''They gave him some medication. They thought this was the next step to alleviate the discomfort, and told him it probably would be a couple days before they really find out if the shot's going to work.''
If not, Wright could be headed for the disabled list on Friday when the Mets open a 10-game trip in Miami. They are off Thursday following Wednesday's series finale against Chicago, so Collins said the team determined there was no need to rush into a decision.
''We'll know more Thursday and Friday,'' he said. ''But certainly, I think it's serious.''
The 33-year-old Wright, who has homered in his last three games, was sidelined from April 15 to Aug. 24 last year when he strained a hamstring and then was diagnosed with spinal stenosis. He has a long physical therapy routine he must go through before each game.
Wright is batting .226 with seven homers, 14 RBIs and 55 strikeouts in 137 at-bats. Before the game, Collins was asked if he thinks Wright can still be a consistent contributor.
''We won't know until we see how he comes out of the neck thing, but this guy's been a special player in baseball,'' Collins said. ''Certainly being the captain and the face of this organization - you know, a manager's worst nightmare is to see a star start to fade. And I think David's got a lot of baseball left in him because of the way he prepares and the way he gets himself ready, but it's hard to watch what he's going through, to see as good as he was.
''I'll tell you, there's a lot of guys in this room that would not do what he does every day just to get ready to go play a baseball game. So he's still special, he's still a great player and we just hope that this neck thing goes away in a few days and he's back in the lineup.''
Collins said as far as he's aware, surgery has not been discussed. And he said it sounds as though the herniated disk is ''just an unfortunate coincidence'' that's unrelated to Wright's spinal stenosis.
''We'll look at him Thursday and make a determination if he's going to be able to play,'' the manager said.
Wilmer Flores started at third base in Wright's place. Loney, acquired from the San Diego Padres for $1 last weekend as a replacement for injured Lucas Duda, batted sixth and went 0 for 4 with an error in his Mets debut.