[to top of second column]
"It was never pain. It was discomfort," Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen said. "If he had ever said pain, then he would have never, ever thrown. We all go through discomfort."
Warthen said the Mets didn't pull Santana after the All-Star break evaluation "because at times it didn't hurt him. It really didn't bother him."
"He was able to pitch a couple different times. Then the last few, you could see the velocity going down, then you really start to concern yourself. Johan never, ever says anything about his own physical pain. Then he actually finally came clean and said this thing really is bugging me."
Santana had arthroscopic surgery on torn cartilage in his left knee last October, after the season ended. He went 16-7 and led the majors with a 2.53 ERA in his first year with the Mets.
The Mets got Santana in a February 2008 trade with Minnesota.
In other injury news, outfielder Jeff Francoeur returned to the lineup after tearing a ligament in his left thumb over the weekend.
Mets pitcher Oliver Perez, meanwhile, was had his right knee evaluated. Manuel said he didn't think the lefty would make his next scheduled start Friday.
"I'm very doubtful," Manuel said. "I'm tired of being optimistic."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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