Johan Santana said he is doing well in his recovery from September shoulder surgery. He said he is not scheduled to resume throwing on flat ground until Tuesday, when he does the first of back-to-back days at the Mets' complex.
"I don't know who's saying that I'm not ready or whatever," said Santana, who turned 32 Sunday, "because according to everything, the way it has been done, we're right on the right track and where we're supposed to be. Whoever is saying that I'm not ready I think is lying. We are all on the same page here. And I've been doing my job and doing my rehab and everything the way it's supposed to be done. ... How can you have a setback at this point, where I'm just beginning to throw? I haven't even got on the mound. I haven't even forced my body to try to throw hard. It's just a slow process and I'm just doing it with caution. ... They always said that this takes time and this is a very slow process. There are going to be days you're going to feel good. There are going to be days you're not going to be so good. But that doesn't mean you're done or anything."
Santana said any discomfort is not alarming.
"It's just regular soreness that you're supposed to feel," he said. "It's nothing new. We're keeping track of everything. ... After I'm done working, I'm fine. It takes time. It takes time. ... I still have to go slow, because whatever you want to do, regardless, you're arm is going to tell you something else. That's why this process is very slow."
Asked how he could know it's regular soreness if he has never had shoulder surgery before, Santana replied: "I've had pain before. I know the difference between pain and soreness. As of right now, you go through a process where you have to build everything up and your arm, your shoulder is weak. You know you have to overcome that. But it takes time. That's why this is a very slow process. And that's what we're doing right now."
Santana said he's actually more optimistic now about his recovery than at the start of camp.
"We've made some improvements," he said.
As for turning 32, Santana smiled and said: "I'm trying not to think about it, but I'm getting old. That's part of life. I've been blessed."