Forget Wilpon/Madoff Mess. If Johan Santana's Not Back Soon, Forget the Mets.

Forget Bernie Madoff, Fred Wilpon, and all the other off-field disasters the New York Mets organization has been through over the past few months and focus on one thing: If Johan Santana is not back by the end of June or at least early July, and back the way the way he was at his peak, the Mets have no chance this season. Which is why every story about what's going on with his rehab (from his September surgery to repair a torn capsule in his left shoulder) is big news. And it may be the only big news the Mets are going to be seeing this year.

On Saturday, the Bergen County Record in Jersey reported that the Mets' front office was ready to shut down Santana's rehab schedule. If true, this would mean that the Mets were not putting a date on any return and, in effect, maybe even writing off the whole season. Through the story has been questioned, and re-questioned, the Record stands by its story today.

Santana himself was busy Saturday night Twittering to more than 5,000 of his fans, insisting everything is fine: "I don't know who's saying that I'm not ready or whatever, because according to everything, the way it has been done, we're right on the right track where we're supposed to be. Whoever is saying that I'm not ready I think is lying."

Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen added when asked to comment, "As far as I know, [everything] is right on time."

Santana "thinks" whoever put that report out was lying? He's not sure? Warthen says "as far as I know everything is on track"? If he doesn't know, who does?

Andy Martino put it all together in the Daily News. "After all that activity, one hard truth remained: Neither Santana nor the Mets knows when he will return, or if he will ever again resemble his former self."


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