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Zack Wheeler likely to return to Mets after All-Star break

Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler delivers against the

Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler delivers against the Washington Nationals during an MLB baseball game at Citi Field on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

MIAMI — Zack Wheeler could rejoin the Mets right after the All-Star break, bringing an end to his arduous rehab from Tommy John surgery.

The righthander will throw a 30-pitch bullpen session at Marlins Park Saturday as he builds up arm strength ahead of a minor-league rehab stint.

According to manager Terry Collins, a rehab assignment may still be “a ways off.”

Instead of targeting an early July return, the Mets appear prepared to hold off Wheeler’s comeback until after the All-Star break in mid-July, which would avoid having him come back only to subject him to a long layoff.

But for Wheeler, the end of the process appears close.

“It’s sneaking up on me,” Wheeler said. “It’s getting here quick and fast. Like I said, every time I’m throwing a bullpen I’m getting my pitch count up.”

New York Sports