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Thursday, February 7, 2013
TC aims for Johan to start Opening Day

By Adam Rubin

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- If Johan Santana is ready to go, and Terry Collins does not expect otherwise, Collins tenatively intends for the southpaw to start on Opening Day, April 1 against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field.

"My guess is that's what it'll be," Collins told ESPNNewYork.com.

After throwing the first no-hitter in New York Mets history last June 1, Santana produced an 8.27 ERA over his next 10 starts before being shut down in August with lower-back inflammation. He allowed at least six earned runs in each of his final five starts -- a streak one shy of matching the live-ball-era record, set by Willie Blair with the Detroit Tigers in 1999.

Collins said he is convinced Santana's swoon last season before landing on the DL was related to fatigue. Santana had rehabed through the previous winter trying to return from surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder.

"No question," Collins said. "He said he feels great, and he said the rest has really made a difference."