New York Mets rookie left-hander Steven Matz is expected to throw off a mound next week.
Matz has been sidelined since suffering a partially torn lat muscle early last month. He took the first step to a return by long-tossing Friday in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
The 24-year-old Matz won each of his first two major league starts in impressive fashion, limiting the Cincinnati Reds to two runs over five hits in his debut on June 28.
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He followed that up with a dominant performance against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 5, tossing six scoreless innings while striking out eight.