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Terry Collins thinks Johan Santana could be back before the end of July

Jun 10, 2011, 8:45 PM EDT

Johan Santana

Johan Santana hasn’t even thrown to live hitters yet, so we should probably be a little careful about timetables, but Mets manager Terry Collins predicts that the southpaw could be back by the end of next month.

In fact, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN.com, Collins won’t even rule out Santana’s return immediately following the All-Star break.

“Is it realistic? Yeah. That would be realistic. Should we plan on it? I don’t know if we should. In a perfect world, if everything continues at the pace it is right now, it’s a realistic goal. But I’m probably looking more toward the end of July than the All-Star break.”

It’s a nice thought either way, but when is the last time that a Mets’ player returned on schedule from an injury? Pardon my cynicism, as it’s sometimes an unfortunate side effect of being a Mets fan these days, but let’s wait until he, you know, actually pitches in a minor league game or two.

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