Johan Santana aims for Opening Day

Not only will New York Mets starter Johan Santana not pitch for Savannah in a South Atlantic League championship series game Thursday, as had been previously scheduled, he also won't pitch in the majors this year.

"That pretty much has been out the window for a while," manager Terry Collins said.

Santana underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder on Sept. 14, 2010. He last pitched for the Mets on Sept. 2, 2010 at Atlanta, picking up the win with five innings of one-run ball.

Collins said having Santana play winter ball has not been fully ruled out, but it's not really advisable because the arm needs time to rest.

Santana would have exerted himself too much in a major league game, according to Collins.

"I think we were asking for a bad experience afterward," Collins said.

Collins said Santana worried about the fairness of impacting a minor league title series, especially if he is not yet at 100 percent. The staff also worried about the exertion required for a playoff game since Santana is a competitor.

Collins said Santana instead would throw a simulated game in Fort Myers, Fla., on Sunday. Santana then will proceed to the fall instructional league, also at his home in Fort Myers. Randy Niemann, the rehab coordinator, told Collins that Santana will be ready for Opening Day.

Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Matt Ehalt was used in this report.