Johan Santana Throwing Again, Mets Hopeful For July Return To Rotation

New York Mets left-hander Johan Santana threw off a mound for the first time since September 14, according to ESPN New York. Adam Rubin reports that Santana threw 15 pitches without any unusual pain or complications.

This was the next step in the progression of Santana's rehabilitation from surgery to repair a torn capsule in his left shoulder, with the first step coming earlier in the month when Santana was throwing on flat ground over a distance of up to 150 feet. The Mets are still hoping for a July return, though Rubin brings up a sobering point:

Still, Santana still has hurdles to clear. Chien-Ming Wang of the Washington Nationals is still trying to return to game action two seasons after undergoing a similar procedure.

That's probably the first time you've thought about Chien-Ming Wang in a year, and he too used to be one of the best starting pitchers in the game. While Santana appears to be on track, there's never a guarantee that he'll be the same pitcher.

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