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Terry Collins: Johan Santana on pitch count for return

Johan Santana stands on the mound in the

Johan Santana stands on the mound in the first inning after surrendering a two-run home run. (July 20, 2012) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Terry Collins said he expects Johan Santana to throw about 90 pitches Saturday night against the Braves at Citi Field in his first big-league start since July 20.

Santana threw 38 pitches in a rehab start Sunday for Brooklyn, then threw on the side to get up to 90.

Collins said he hopes Santana will come to spring training next year as less of a question mark than he did this year, when he was coming off serious shoulder surgery. Santana is 6-7 with a 3.98 ERA in 19 games.

“I really believe that with Johan now knowing that his shoulder is healthy, he doesn’t have to start the process so early as he did this past year,” Collins said Friday. “He was playing long toss in December, throwing in January. This year, he probably won’t start until Feb. 1, a throwing program. So it allows him to have a couple of months to rest things up. Next summer, we may have to shut him down for a little while just to give him a blow. But I certainly think going into next year, he’ll be in much better shape.”

New York Sports