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Santana unlikely to grace Citi in 2011

Mets pitcher Johan Santana.

Mets pitcher Johan Santana. Photo Credit: Kathy Kmonicek

As uplifting as it would be to see Johan Santana pitch in the big leagues this season, Terry Collins insists that Santana's shoulder is more important than the Mets' spirits.

"Right now, we have no plans of seeing him here," Collins said. The only exception might be for a simulated game if there is no minor-league playoff game in which Santana can follow up his solid outing on Friday night.

If he comes to Queens and feels good, Santana conceivably could lobby to get on the mound during a game. "He can sit in my office every day. If I don't think he's ready to pitch in a game, I'm not going to pitch him," Collins said. "As I told him last week, I'm really excited about the progress he's made. I think it's great that he's feeling better, that he's pitching."

The danger is that Santana, coming off shoulder surgery, could get an adrenaline rush and overdo it. As Collins said, "The one thing we don't want to do is take a big step backward."

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