Evans Clinchy
Friday March 2nd, 2012

The New York Mets got encouraging news today about the status of Johan Santana -- the one-time ace threw live batting practice in spring training today, his first time facing hitters this spring, according to the New York Daily News.

Santana, who had surgery in September 2010 to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder, threw 40 pitches today in two simulated innings against two groups of hitters. He's now looking at a potential return by the Mets' April 5 season opener.

"It's just another spring training," Santana said. "That's the way I'm approaching everything. Trying to get ready, doing the things I used to do, and don't try to do anything crazy."

Santana went 11-9 with a 2.98 ERA for the Mets in 2010; his last major league appearance was on Sept. 2 of that year. But Mets players and coaches alike agree that Santana is a new man in 2012, rejuvenated and ready to make a comeback. "This year, he's a lot more lively," manager Terry Collins said. "His real personality is out there, because he feels better. If I sensed any discomfort, you could tell by the way he acts."

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