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Saturday, June 21, 2014
Hefner progressing toward 2014 return

By Adam Rubin

MIAMI -- Right-hander Jeremy Hefner indicated Saturday that he is on track to pitch in the major leagues in 2014, assuming the Mets have a role for him.

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"If there's a need here, and they want me here, I can foresee that," Hefner said.

Hefner underwent Tommy John surgery on Aug. 28, 2013 at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.

He is visiting the Mets this weekend in Miami and plans to throw off the mound for the fourth time since the procedure on Sunday.

This latest mound session will be eventful for Hefner. He will throw breaking balls off a mound for the first time. He also will increase the intensity of his fastball to about 90 to 95 percent of capacity. In the previous sessions, the catcher moved closer, so Hefner was not required to throw 60 feet, six inches.

"That will be a test of how the ligament feels, and how it responds on Monday and Tuesday," Hefner said. "It's a big step. Every day is a big step."