Johan Santana on Pace to Return to New York Mets by August 28

Austin MirminaContributor IJuly 27, 2011

Johan Santana set to return to the Mets by late August.
Johan Santana set to return to the Mets by late August.Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

During a season that has been littered with uncertainty and unfortunate injuries, the New York Mets are finally receiving a bit of good news.  

Their ace, Johan Santana, will begin a 30-day minor league rehab stint for Class-A St. Lucie and is expected to be activated from the disabled list by Aug. 28.  

Santana's first rehab start will take place on Thursday, where he will be limited to 40 pitches against Daytona Beach to shake the rust.  The Mets have yet to announce whether Santana will be completing his entire rehab assignment with Class-A St. Lucie.

Barring a setback (knock on wood), Santana should be advanced to a higher level of the minors as he continues to show improvement on the mound.  

It has been just under a year, approx. 10 months since Santana underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn capsule in that golden left shoulder.  He began throwing off a mound in early June, but suffered a setback which delayed his time table for return. 

Patience is the keyword for Mets fans, who have been anxiously awaiting Santana's return for quite some time.  Expect a dip in velocity, as the lefty will have to be crafty with his signature changeup in order to be effective against major league hitters.  Surgery certainly didn't do him any favors, but Johan has the heart of a champion.  He will battle till the very last pitch.  

Santana has posted a 40-25 record and 2.85 ERA in his three-year tenure with the Mets. New York currently sits 7.5 games behind Atlanta in the Wild Card, but Johan's arrival could spark a late push if the Mets remain within striking distance.