DENVER -- Right-hander Shaun Marcum continued his rehab Thursday with a 41-pitch outing on a back field in Florida, striking out five over four perfect innings of an extended spring camp game.
Earlier Thursday, manager Terry Collins said he expected Marcum to throw 65-70 pitches in the outing, then increase his workload to 90 pitches next time out -- his last step before returning from the disabled list. But because Marcum threw only 41 pitches Thursday, he may need multiple additional outings to reach 90.
The Mets do not need a fifth starter again until April 27, but it is unclear if Marcum will be ready by that point. He has been on the disabled list since Opening Day with nerve inflammation in his neck, but Marcum currently feels no pain, according to Collins.
"We'll have to see how he comes out of the game today," Collins said. "I don't have anything written down as a time frame."
Also rehabbing in Florida are relievers Frank Francisco (right elbow inflammation) and Pedro Feliciano (left shoulder weakness). Both pitchers fired scoreless innings Wednesday for Class A St. Lucie, but neither has a timetable for his return.