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Hefner set to throw off mound

Adam Rubin

Jeremy Hefner

NEW YORK -- Right-hander Jeremy Hefner plans to take a major step forward Tuesday in his return from Tommy John surgery.

Hefner, 28, is due to throw roughly 15 pitches off a mound in Port St. Lucie, Fla. It will mark his first time throwing off an incline since undergoing the elbow procedure on Aug. 28.

Hefner re-signed with the Mets on a minor-league contract after being non-tendered in December. He went 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA in 24 appearances (23 starts) last season before landing on the disabled list and then undergoing surgery.

Matt Harvey, who underwent Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22, had planned to throw off a mound Monday for the first time since his procedure. However, team officials have backed off Harvey for fear he was attempting to do too much too soon.