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Collins: Santana may be sidelined for six weeks

Johan Santana looks on during a spring training

Johan Santana looks on during a spring training workout at Tradition Field. (Feb. 13, 2013) Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Johan Santana may need six weeks to get his ailing left shoulder strong enough to consider a return to game action, Mets manager Terry Collins said on Saturday afternoon.

Collins noted that entering last season, when Santana broke camp with his shoulder in good condition, he had started throwing in December. Entering this season, Santana backed off his winter throwing program in favor of resting his body.

Earlier in the day, Santana told reporters that he was unsure about when he would pitch again.

"I've kind of had that feeling for awhile," said Collins, who checks in daily with the veteran pitcher. "That he's going to be very cautious getting himself back, making sure his shoulder is at the same strength it was last year when he left here."

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