Johan Santana erased considerable doubt about the health of his surgically repaired shoulder for much of this season, but Saturday will begin another part of the comeback.

After throwing a complaint-free bullpen session yesterday, Santana remains on schedule to make his first start off the DL against the Braves, and will try to prove his three most recent starts were an aberration and not new signs of concern.

No matter how he does, the Mets intend to handle the lefty with kid gloves the rest of the season after he went 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA in three starts before spraining his right ankle.