The Mets have opted to push Johan Santana's next start to Friday, affording their ace two extra days of rest to recover from his 134-pitch no-hitter.

The original plan was for Santana to start again Thursday, but manager Terry Collins explained yesterday the main reason for the change is not to disrupt R.A. Dickey's schedule. The veteran knuckleballer was a candidate to pitch tomorrow on three days' rest as a way to provide Santana an additional day off. Instead, the Mets have chosen to start Jeremy Hefner tomorrow, meaning Dickey can pitch Thursday on his normal turn.