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Mets ace Santana upbeat after latest workout

Johan Santana threw 45 pitches in a bullpen session and remained on target in his comeback from shoulder surgery.

The latest workout by the New York Mets ace came before their game against the Florida Marlins on Sunday. Barring a setback, he's expected to begin a minor-league rehabilitation assignment in the next few days.

"He's gotten himself to the point where if he recovers and he's feeling good, we can start getting him into games like we would in spring training," Mets rehabilitation pitching coordinator Randy Niemann said. "Every time I see him on the mound, I see him pitching just a little bit better than the last time."

Santana underwent surgery on his left shoulder last September. There's no timetable for his return to the majors, but the two-time Cy Young Award winner hopes to pitch for the Mets before the end of the season.

"We still have some way to go, but I'm feeling better, and that's what I'm looking for," Santana said. "Every day it gets better."