Mets' Johan Santana may miss Opening Day

By Steven Mitchell,

Mets’ left-hander Johan Santana could be in jeopardy of not being ready for Opening Day on April 1.

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According to MLB.com the veteran left-hander’s throwing schedule is to be pushed back possibly two weeks because of a “conditioning issue.” This means Santana’s first spring training appearance is pushed back and his status for Opening Day could be negative.

"It's obviously a possibility," general manager Sandy Alderson said on Santana and Opening Day. "But right now we're still shooting for the opening of the season."

Santana had a rough last season. After returning from major shoulder surgery, the left-hander had to deal with an injury to his ankle and an inflamed back which eventually placed him on the disabled list in August. He did manage to throw a no-hitter in June.

The New York Daily News reports that Santana is the Mets’ highest paid player at $25.5 million this season. His return could possibly be somewhere between March 10-15.

The problem with Santana is that he did not throw off a mound at all this past winter. When he reported to camp, in Port St. Lucie, it was the first time throwing off a mound. His strength to pitch is not all there right now.

"There's no structural issue," Alderson said. "It's just a matter of building up strength, so he'll be long-tossing before he gets back on the mound. We just expect that his schedule will have been delayed somewhat."

Photo Courtesy of TwitPic.com

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