Santana works on stretching on Saturday

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- In a sea of blue and orange jerseys, Johan Santana's No. 57 was nowhere to be seen as his teammates took part in Saturday morning workouts.

Instead, the 33-year-old left-hander stayed behind to focus on shoulder stretches and extra treatment.

Mets manager Terry Collins said the southpaw's status remains day to day in terms of when he will return to the mound and make his Grapefruit League debut.

"[I] talked to him this morning and asked what he was going to do today," Collins said. "[He] thought he should do some stretching exercises for the flexibility in his shoulder and I told him, 'By all means get it done and make sure you're ready to go.' We would certainly hope something next week, but if it's not, it's not. Part of our conversation was he's ready when he's ready."

A week ago a report stated the Mets were unhappy that the two-time Cy Young Award winner reported to camp not in pitching shape. A day later, Santana threw off a mound, veering off his schedule.

Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen had him return to his previous pace, which includes his current long toss program. He threw off a back mound at the Mets complex on Wednesday, and also had a light long-toss session. If all goes smoothly, he would progress to bullpen sessions and batting practice.

Warthen said Santana felt great on Monday following his time on the mound. Santana will remain on the long toss program until he tells the coaching staff otherwise.

"When he's ready to go, that's going to be the day he goes," Warthen said. "We don't want to rush anything. We don't want to take any chances of getting a setback. Just waiting for the strength for him to say, 'I need to face hitters. I'm feeling really good right now.' He's going to say it's time. 'I feel great, I want to go out there and face hitters.'"

Christina De Nicola is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.