PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler continues to make slow but steady progress in his rehab from a strained right oblique muscle, climbing atop a mound Thursday for the first time since injuring himself on Feb. 27.
With a small gaggle of teammates and coaches looking on, Wheeler threw a 30-pitch bullpen session at an estimated three-quarters effort.
"Honestly, today is probably the first day that it's 100 percent," Wheeler said of his oblique, which he injured during pitcher's batting practice. "Leading up to this day, it was getting better every day. I'll continue to get treatment for it probably throughout Spring Training, a little preventative thing."
The Mets have no intention of rushing Wheeler back into game action, considering he will not break camp with the big club anyway. Still, the right-hander is anxious to make his second career Grapefruit League start after dazzling with two scoreless innings in his first one.
Said Wheeler: "Everybody at this point wants to face live hitters and be in games."