MLB notes: Wright's pain tolerance to be tested

New York Mets third baseman David Wright's broken pinkie is seen in a splint as he sits in the...

New York Mets third baseman David Wright's broken pinkie is seen in a splint as he sits in the dugout against the Washington Nationals during the fifth inning of their MLB National League baseball game at CitiField in New York, April 11, 2012. (REUTERS/Adam Hunger)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:35 PM ET

Maybe a broken pinkie finger won't keep New York Mets third baseman David Wright out of the lineup long after all.

The Mets released a statement Thursday saying that a hand specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery told Wright he can resume activities "as tolerated." Effectively, that means if Wright can handle the pain, he could be in the lineup Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

And the Mets certainly need him playing if they hope to win. After starting the season with four straight wins, they lost both games after Wright broke his finger diving back to first base Monday against the Washington Nationals.

"As much as you want to say everybody picks each other up, David was a big part of what we were doing early on," Mets outfielder Jason Bay said on the team's website. "And then, obviously, you take David out of that equation. Any team, that's going to hurt."

If Wright can't play Friday, the Mets could put him on the disabled list and shift second baseman Daniel Murphy to third.

DAMON JOINS TRIBE

Looks like Johnny Damon has a new home in Cleveland.

Damon, a free agent who failed to garner any interest over the off-season, has agreed to terms with the Indians and expects to sign Friday, after he's undergone a physical. He will likely play left field for the struggling Indians, who went into Thursday with a 1-4 record and .178 team batting average.

"I've kept myself in pretty good shape, and I'm just excited that Cleveland is giving me this opportunity to see what I can do and also go help out a young team and provide some leadership to them," Damon said on MLB Network Radio. "I told them I've been staying in great shape, been running, been throwing, been hitting, been playing soccer. So I told them I feel like I could be ready in a couple of days."

The 38-year-old outfielder is 277 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.

Damon hit .261 with 16 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games with the Tampa Bay Rays last season.

NATS NEWS NOT GOOD

The Washington Nationals expect outfielder Michael Morse to miss at least six weeks with a strained muscle in his back.

Morse won't need surgery and the Nationals are hoping rest will correct the problem, which flared up during his rehab stint with Class A Hagerstown. He can swing the bat fine but can't throw without feeling pain.

"We are going to put him on total shut-down mode for six weeks, so he can rest it," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said. "We'd tried to ramp him up and get him ready as quickly as we could, because he is a big piece of our lineup. He just reaggravated it, and we have to be ultra cautious and make sure he is right for the majority of the season."

Nats closer Drew Storen had minor elbow surgery to remove a bone chip on Wednesday, according to his agent. He's expected to return some time before the all-star game.

BURRELL SET TO RETIRE

Pat Burrell will retire as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The long-time Phillies outfielder will sign a one-day contract with the club in May so he can go out the same way he came into the big leagues. The Phillies will hold a retirement ceremony for the 35-year-old on May 19.

"The more I thought about it, it's the right thing to do," Burrell said on MLB.com. "I was with that organization for so long. I have such good memories. You realize it's an honour and I'm very appreciative of the fact they wanted to do this for me. I'm looking forward to it. I really am."

Burrell, selected first overall in the 1997 draft, played for the Phillies from 2000 to '08, the year he helped them win the World Series. He also played for the Tampa Bay Rays and San Francisco Giants.

BRIEFLY

Anaheim Angels reliever Michael Kohn has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and will need season-ending Tommy John surgery. Kohn started the season on the DL ... Philadelphia Phillies reliever Jose Contreras could be activated off the DL by the weekend. Contreras, who had elbow surgery in September, will throw in back-to-back minor-league games as a final test ... St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman has a minor tear in his calf muscle but says it's "more than reasonable" he'll only miss a few days. Berkman was hurt running out a triple Tuesday ... Kansas City Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain was put on the DL with a groin injury. The Royals called up Jarrod Dyson from Triple-A to take his spot on the roster ... The Houston Astros activated shortstop Jed Lowrie from the DL after he missed five games with a sprained thumb. He'll take over for Marwin Gonzalez as the Astros starting shortstop.


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