Young, 32, who underwent surgery last May to repair a torn right anterior shoulder capsule, has most recently been pitching simulated games in extended spring camp. He re-joined the organization on a Minor League deal in March, after thriving for them in four starts early last season.
Regardless of their own tenuous back end of the rotation, the Mets do not plan to activate Young until he has made at least three or four Minor League starts, building up his innings total to seven or eight per game. Because Young is on a Minor League deal and not an official rehab assignment, he can spend as much time in the Minors as necessary -- meaning late May is a target date, not a necessity.
"He's feeling great," Collins said. "It's about building up his arm strength."
Young is scheduled to throw between 75 and 80 pitches Thursday, in what Collins called "the start of the process." He posted a 1.88 ERA in four starts for the Mets last season, before re-tearing a shoulder capsule that he originally injured in 2010. Battling a myriad of shoulder issues, Young has not made more than 18 starts in any season since '07.