Johan Santana makes rehab start

New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana allowed one unearned run and two hits with one strikeout and one walk in three innings Friday night for Class A Savannah in his second rehab start since he resumed throwing. The left-hander threw 39 pitches, 27 for strikes, in the game against Augusta in a South Atlantic League playoff game.

Mets manager Terry Collins said that how Santana's arm responded this weekend would be key.

"We'll find more out (Saturday), even though he doesn't throw (Saturday)," Collins said. "I want to find out how stiff he is and the big day will be Sunday when he does his long toss."

Santana, who underwent Sept. 14, 2010 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder, last pitched Saturday for Class A St. Lucie in the Florida State League. He tossed two innings, giving up three hits and one run. He had previously made a rehab start on July 29 for St. Lucie, throwing three scoreless innings, but was later diagnosed with left shoulder fatigue, which halted his progress.

With the minor league seasons coming to an end, it's unknown at this point where Santana would make his next start. A return to Flushing has not been ruled out for this season and Santana said earlier this year that he would like to be able to return to the Mets.

"If I pitch this season that would be great and if I don't, as long as I feel good and healthy that's what I'm looking for," Santana had said.

Santana last pitched for the Mets on Sept. 2, 2010 at Atlanta, picking up the win with five innings of one-run ball. While having Santana pitch for the Mets this season might excite the fan base, the manager hasn't been too concerned whether he sees Santana in 2011 or 2012.

"A while ago I was really pretty much set at, 'Hey, look, I think it would be great for you to pitch so we can have an idea.' But I know he's feeling so much better again. I'm pretty confident that even if he doesn't pitch this year for us, he'll come to spring training ready," Collins said earlier this year.

On Friday night, Collins indicated that Santana could get another rehab start soon.

"We're hoping that next week the St. Lucie club, which is in a five-game playoff, they have a chance to play when he pitches again so we're hoping that's still an opportunity," Collins said.

Matt Ehalt is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.