Johan Santana to begin rehab assignment Saturday

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Five weeks after being shut down because of shoulder discomfort, Johan Santana will begin another rehab assignment Saturday with high-A St. Lucie.

ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin reports that Santana will throw two innings or40 pitches in his first appearance back.  If things proceed well, then the chance exists that he’ll come off the DL and make a couple of brief appearances for the Mets at the end of the year.

Santana hasn’t pitched in the majors since surgery a year ago to repair a torn capsule in his shoulder.  Not counting what’s left of this year’s $22.5 million salary, the Mets will owe him an $55 million through 2013 or $74.5 million if they want to pick up his 2014 option.