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Monday, July 29, 2013
Niese eyeing mid-August activation

By Adam Rubin

MIAMI -- Jonathon Niese expects to make two more rehab starts in the minors before being activated from the disabled list.

Niese, who tossed two innings Saturday in the Gulf Coast League, next is due to pitch Thursday for Class A St. Lucie. He will make one more appearance after that before rejoining the Mets.

Niese is on the DL with a partial tear of the rotator cuff in his pitching shoulder. Niese, who visited the Mets on Monday in Miami and threw a bullpen session, reiterated that the rotator cuff tear is minimal and not alarming for a pitcher of his age.

"Long-tossing, my arm feels great," Niese said. "I threw two innings the other day and my arm felt great. I'm just moving forward. It's a little tear in the rotator cuff, but it wasn't anything major. So they just called it normal wear and tear and just rehabbed it and let the inflammation go down. Whatever it was, it worked. It feels great right now."

Niese faulted throwing in cold weather in April for his shoulder issue. He last appeared in a major league game June 20.

"I felt healthy in the beginning of the season," he said. "I think it was after the Colorado-Minnesota series, being in that cold, after that it was just a struggle to heal in between starts. It was just a battle just to feel good. I didn't feel like I had my dominating stuff. I just felt like each outing was a grind. And, eventually, it got painful. So I told myself I had to stop."