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Terry Collins plans to challenge Rafael Montero in St. Lucie

MIAMI -- New York Mets manager Terry Collins' first choice is not to spend Thursday's off-day at the team's complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Still, Collins feels compelled to make the drive from Miami after Wednesday's series finale against the Marlins to try to give a nudge to right-hander Rafael Montero.

"We need you, so let's go," Collins indicated would be his message to Montero.

Montero has been on the disabled list since late April with what officially is being labeled rotator cuff inflammation. But team doctors have failed to identify anything notably wrong with Montero.

So Collins plans to challenge Montero to ramp things up because the Mets need him -- especially as the team tries to conserve the innings of its other starting pitchers as their innings totals rise.

Montero made minor league rehab appearances on July 14 and 20 in the Gulf Coast League, but again asked to back off further work. A subsequent examination resulted in Montero being cleared to continue throwing.