Mets to examine Putz in simulated game

NEW YORK -- Mets reliever J.J. Putz is scheduled to throw a simulated game Saturday and could go to Class A Brooklyn for a rehab stint if all goes well.

Putz had surgery in June to remove a bone spur and fragments of bone from his right elbow. The right-hander, acquired in the offseason from Seattle to be Francisco Rodriguez's setup man, is 1-4 with a 5.22 ERA and two saves on the season.

"He's ready to compete," manager Jerry Manuel said before New York hosted the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night.

Putz is one of several key players on the disabled list for the Mets, who have fallen out of the playoff picture with many of their stars sidelined. Some of the injured players are getting closer to returning but it may be too late for fading New York.

Left-handed reliever Billy Wagner, coming off major elbow surgery, played catch before the game against the Braves and is hoping to come off the disabled list Thursday.

"It's not much fun to be healthy and watch," Wagner said. "That's for sure."