Setback for Johan Santana

Will Johan Santana ever take the mound for the Mets this season? The question begs to be asked following a setback in his rehab from shoulder surgery.

On Monday Sandy Alderson said Santana’s next rehab start would be pushed back from Wednesday to Thursday, dismissing it as a “tweak in the schedule.” But now that Thursday start has been scratched and instead Santana will fly to New York to be examined by the crack medical staff at the Mets hospital of choice, the Hospital for Special Surgery, after complaining of “discomfort” in the shoulder, in the words of Alderson. The New York Post reports that Alderson admitted this was not just some “tweak” — this is a setback.

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Santana tossing a bullpen session before the Mets-Marlins game on July 24 in Florida.

Santana threw three scoreless innings in his first start in Port St. Lucie last Thursday. On Monday Santana complained of a lack of strength, which was upgraded to discomfort on Tuesday.

This should not be unexpected. Santana did not undergo Tommy John surgery, which has become routine and has a one-year recovery time. Santana had the same shoulder surgery as Chien Ming Wang and Mark Prior. It took two years for Wang to come back (and we saw what he looked like last Friday in his first start back), and Prior is still trying to make it back to the bigs.

This is not to say Santana is a lost cause. But it might mean we won’t see Santana in a Mets uniform this year, if not part of next season as well.

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