Johan Santana throws off mound

Updated: February 19, 2012, 10:30 AM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- A Goodyear blimp coincidentally flew over the New York Mets' spring-training complex as Johan Santana prepared to step onto a mound Friday for the first time since late September. It perhaps was an appropriate sight, since manager Terry Collins labeled Santana's ensuing 25-pitch session to catcher Josh Thole a "huge first step for us" in spring training.

Santana did not appear in the majors last season after undergoing surgery Sept. 14, 2010 to repair a torn anterior ...

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