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Santana stresses progress after workout

Johan Santana #57 of the New York Mets

Johan Santana #57 of the New York Mets walks to the dugout against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. (June 26, 2010) Photo Credit: Getty Images

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Johan Santana Watch continued Tuesday as the Mets' rehabbing ace tried to dispel any concerns with another throwing session on flat ground.

Santana is not expected to return until some point in July, at the earliest. But after a report surfaced over the weekend that Santana's season is in jeopardy, he put additional emphasis on the otherwise unspectacular workout.

Santana, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, had three throwing sessions at 60 feet, a modest upgrade from his routine of the previous week. When it was over, Santana seemed a little more defiant to observers, stressing that he was making progress.

When a reporter asked if everything was good, todo bien, Santana replied, "As always."

Pitching coach Dan Warthen chimed in as well. After watching Santana, he walked off the field and said, "Best day yet."

That could be. But when it comes to Santana's rehab and prognosis for the season, everything is relative.

Beltran OK for activity

While the Mets travel to Ft. Myers Wednesday, Carlos Beltran is scheduled to return to baseball activity after getting clearance to do so. Beltran has been shut down with left knee tendinitis since March 8, two days after his first and only Grapefruit League game.

"I'll tell you the one thing I do not want to happen, that's a step backward," manager Terry Collins said. "We've made strides forward in the last few days and I want to continue moving forward. If Carlos thinks tomorrow might just be dry swings or hit off the tee for a few swings, that's fine."

Beltran said he plans on being ready for Opening Day.


Perez so-so in relief

Oliver Perez faced three straight lefthanders in relief and retired two. After an opening walk to Adam LaRoche, Perez went to 3-and-2 on Laynce Nix before striking him out on an 86-mph fastball. He then got Rick Ankiel to ground out.

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