Johan Santana is set to start Saturday night against the Atlanta Braves. It will be his first start for the Mets since he was placed on the disabled list after a July 20 start. He was listed as having a sprained right ankle but the rest also did him good after struggling in three July starts.

But with 51 games remaining in the season, the goal is now to keep Santana healthy this season so that it can bode well for next season as well. Which means that precautions may be taken with the left-hander.

"I'm very very confident we're going to see a good outing out of Johan because of the way his arm feels, the way his energy he's gotten back," manager Terry Collins said. "I think we need to be very cautious in the month of September to make sure he goes into the offseason feeling very good. If that means that somehow we give him an extra day every now and then, figure out a way to do it — we'll do it. I don't want to go into next spring training trying to find out if Johan Santana is going to be healthy. We need to know that he is."