Piazza won't play against Braves

Updated: July 23, 2004, 11:49 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Mike Piazza won't play for the Mets in the crucial weekend series against the Braves and might be sidelined longer than expected, manager Art Howe says.

Piazza jammed his left wrist in a collision with Juan Pierre during Tuesday night's loss to the Marlins. Tests revealed no structural damage, and the Mets said Piazza would be sidelined about five days. That may have been optimistic.

"It could be longer," Howe told The New York Times. "We're not going to rush it. The wrist is part of your swing."

"I've got to get the swelling out,'' Piazza told the newspaper. "I'll take off until I can fully swing the bat and go from there. You have to have patience."

Piazza had been slumping before he got hurt. He homered on Saturday, ending a drought of 74 at-bats. Despite the slump, Piazza is hitting .288 with 17 homers and 42 RBI.

When Piazza does return to the lineup, Howe will have to find a different way to keep Ty Wigginton in the mix. When phenom third baseman David Wright was called up from the minors on Wednesday, Wigginton was shifted to first base. When Piazza returns, Wigginton will be out of a position again, but likely will see time at first, second and third, and possibly even the outfield.