Originally posted on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 3/1/12

Chien-Ming Wang suffered a torn anterior capsule in his throwing shoulder back in 2009.  The injury is identical to the on that has sidelined New York Mets ace Johan Santana since September of 2010.  As Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal recently wrote last night, Wang is now fully recovered, attempting to earn a spot in a suddenly deep Washington Nationals rotation, and has some advice for Johan:

Photo by Michael G. Baron

As Wang vies for the last spot in Washington’s deep starting rotation, he offers both reason for optimism and reason for tempered expectations for Santana, whose recovery is essential to the Mets’ quest for relevance in 2012.

Santana said he has not followed Wang’s progress. He believes he can come back faster and stronger than Wang, who took a full two years to return. But Wang was curious about Santana, who is 18 months removed from his last major-league game.

“He’s not back yet?” Wang asked. If Santana asked for advice, Wang said he would offer this: “Be patient.”


Wang tells Ken Davidoff that Santana needs “patience” after surgery. Johan said he expected 2 yrs for return. #mets http://t.co/wcJpYgxd 21 minutes ago via bitlyReplyRetweetFavorite @DPLennon David Lennon

There’s no question that Santana is a fierce competitor and while that is great on the mound, it may just be a bit counterproductive when trying to rehab an injury.  Fortunately (and I find it amazing that I am actually saying this) the Mets trainers and front office have moved towards an extremely cautious approach with their players in terms of managing their injuries.  Again, this is a team that under new leadership is showing an ability to learn from past mistakes.

Photo by Michael G. Baron

So far this Spring Johan’s bullpen sessions have gone smoothly and the reviews appear promising, but maximizing the lefties starts should be the team’s goal.  That may mean pulling in the reigns on the 32-year-old who, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, is scheduled to throw to live hitters today.

Johan Santana faces Mets hitters Thursday when he throws batting practice. It marks his first time against hitters since the fall instructional league in Fort Myers, Fla. The Mets are one day away from beginning intrasquad games and four days away from Monday’s Grapefruit League opener, when Dillon Gee will take the mound at 6 p.m. against the Washington Nationals.”

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