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Wheeler set to throw off mound Saturday

Latest step for 25-year-old after Tommy John surgery in March 2015
MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Zack Wheeler will cruise past another milestone in his Tommy John rehab on Saturday when he throws off the slope of a mound for the first time since surgery. The Mets expect Wheeler to toss a dozen or so pitches.

Wheeler, 25, has been throwing off flat ground since late last summer. He is targeting a July 1 return, at which point the Mets will either move to a temporary six-man rotation or shift Bartolo Colon to the bullpen.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Zack Wheeler will cruise past another milestone in his Tommy John rehab on Saturday when he throws off the slope of a mound for the first time since surgery. The Mets expect Wheeler to toss a dozen or so pitches.

Wheeler, 25, has been throwing off flat ground since late last summer. He is targeting a July 1 return, at which point the Mets will either move to a temporary six-man rotation or shift Bartolo Colon to the bullpen.

"He's a ways away," manager Terry Collins said, "so I'm not going to get too amped up yet."

In his only full big league season in 2014, Wheeler went 11-11 with a 3.54 ERA in 32 starts. He underwent surgery last March after tests revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, Zack Wheeler