Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana throws in the top of...

Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana throws in the top of the ninth inning. The Mets defeated the Rockies, 4-0. (Aug. 12, 2010) Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

CHICAGO - Johan Santana proved Saturday that he is able to play catch from 100 feet as he recovers from a strained left pectoral muscle. But the Mets won't green-light him for his scheduled start Tuesday until Santana survives a "touch-and-feel" bullpen session before today's game at Wrigley Field.

Santana played catch in rightfield for 10 minutes under the supervision of pitching coach Dan Warthen and trainer Ray Ramirez, which is part of his routine between starts. Warthen was satisfied that Santana felt OK but wanted to hold off on any decisions until today's bullpen session.

"In the theme of prevention and recovery," Warthen said, "we see how he feels when he gets on the mound tomorrow."

Santana has tried to downplay the injury since he was forced to leave Thursday's game in Atlanta after five innings and 65 pitches. He first complained to Warthen of shoulder "tightness" that night before the problem was identified as a strained left pectoral muscle.

The only way for him to rid the Mets of any concern is to pitch well Tuesday. But he has to get there first.

"Playing catch, I don't feel anything, so we'll see how it feels [Sunday]," Santana said. "I feel fine. There's no problems at all."

When asked if Sunday's session will be the deciding factor in getting the nod for Tuesday in Washington, Santana replied, "I would think so. I've got to go one day at a time. [Sunday] will dictate what's going to happen next."

Another test for Reyes?

Jose Reyes took soft-toss batting practice in the indoor cages Saturday in the hope that he might be ready to test his moody oblique muscle with outdoor batting practice before today's series finale against the Cubs. Still, manager Jerry Manuel has no idea of a possible return date.