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Maine given green light to return

Maine given green light to return

NEW YORK -- For days, John Maine has said he's ready. And before Wednesday night's game against the Cubs, the Mets agreed.

Maine, who was placed on the disabled list on Aug. 25 with a bone spur in his right shoulder, was activated, and he will be added to the Mets' bullpen mix. While he may experience some discomfort pitching, doctors have assured general manager Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel that he cannot worsen the injury by throwing.

"My concern with him is his health," Manuel said. "It would be a good thing if he could be pain-free. I don't like the fact that he can have pain and pitch through that."

On the other hand, Maine has been adamant in his desire to pitch and Minaya said on Wednesday, "If you asked John Maine, he'd go out and pitch today."

Before meeting with Manuel at 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday, pitching coach Dan Warthen had informed Minaya that Maine's velocity has hovered around 92-93 mph, and he could pitch as soon as Wednesday. Minaya waited until after his meeting with Manuel to clear Maine, saying he needed to know how the righty, normally a starter, would be worked into the bullpen.

Minaya, while trying to be cautious in his approach with the 27-year-old righty, added that he needed to see Maine work out of the bullpen in the regular season if he was to consider him for a spot on the playoff roster in the event that the Mets make it into October.

"We don't see him as a starter, so you move him to the bullpen, how many pitches does he need to warm up, all of those factors, they need to be considered," Minaya said.

Jon Blau is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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