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MLB notebook: Santana to start for Mets on opening day

Associated Press After a spring full of injury-related news, finally some relief for the New York Mets: Johan Santana will start on Opening Day. The left-hander, returning from shoulder surgery performed in September 2010, met with manager Terry Collins in his office Sunday. Later, Collins announced that Santana was set to pitch at home against the Atlanta Braves. “After we talked to Johan yesterday after he threw, I walked by him and he said to me at the end, ‘You’ve got your pitcher for Thursday,’ ” Collins said. Santana made his last spring training start Monday against St. Louis and worked a brief bullpen session Saturday. “It means a lot,” he said. “It means that everything we’ve done from surgery to today has paid off. We worked hard, and I’m very happy.” “I’m happy to have the opportunity to start the season from Day One with the team. That’s something I was really looking forward to.” The two-time Cy Young winner was 0-1 with a 3.44 ERA in five exhibition starts. “He said to me in the winter, ‘I came to New York to be the Opening Day starter. If I can do it, I’ll be there.’ He’s ready to go,” Collins said. The 33-year-old Santana has been rehabbing the anterior capsule in his shoulder since surgery cut short his 2010 season. He pitched briefly in the minors last year. Collins will have a built-in luxury that will help with easing Santana into the mix. Six of his first seven scheduled starts will include an extra day of rest simply because of the way New York’s schedule unfolds.

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