NL East injury update: Johan Santana, Chase Utley, Logan Morrison

Mike Stobe

The latest injury news from around the NL East.

Santana Back On Mound, Murphy Gets Cortisone

Johan Santana threw off a mound Sunday for the first time since being shut down in August, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN. The Mets southpaw threw just 20 pitches to the club's bullpen catcher, so he's still got a ways to go, but he said he should be on track to take the mound for Opening Day against the Padres on April 1. Santana will not pitch for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic next month.

Daniel Murphy received a cortisone shot in his right side from doctors in New York yesterday to relieve pain in his intercostal muscle, Rubin also reports. The Mets second baseman felt a "subtle tug" in his side during drills on Monday and returned to Manhattan to undergo tests, leading to the cortisone. Murphy is back in camp today and is expected to miss seven to 10 days.

Utley Feels "Damn Good," Means It This Time

Phillies second baseman Chase Utley spoke to reporters on Friday and said he feels "pretty damn good right now," though its unclear whether that will prove to be true, reports Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly. The veteran made similar statements last spring only to miss the first 75 games of the season, so fans have reason to be wary of his self-diagnosis. Utley said this time is different, however, stating that he was able to do things this offseason he hadn't done in several years.

Another Phillie on the mend, right-hander Mike Stutes, got his first test of spring on Tuesday, per Matt Gelb of the Philly Inquirer. The 26-year-old, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, threw his first bullpen session of camp yesterday and said that it felt "promising," with no fatigue at all in his shoulder.

Morrison Passes Test, Kotchman Takes On Machine

Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison made a positive step in his recovery from a lingering knee injury yesterday, getting the all clear to start running on an antigravity treadmill, reports Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel. Morrison, who is recovering from surgery to repair his patellar tendon, will progress to running on grass in a few weeks if all goes well. His status for the beginning of the season is still very much in the air, which is much of the reason why the club signed Casey Kotchman to a minor-league deal last week.

Speaking of Kotchman... the Marlins' newest first-base option ran into a pop-up machine while chasing after a fly ball on Monday and sliced open his left ring finger, per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Kotch received four stitches in his throwing hand and isn't expected to miss more than a few days of camp.

Kimball at 100 Percent

Right-hander Cole Kimball hasn't made an appearance on the mound for the Nats since June 2011 because of lingering rotator cuff issues, but that streak should come to an end this spring. The righty reliever says that he feels "100 percent" and that "everything is back to normal" with regards to his shoulder, per James Wagner of the Washington Post. The 6' 4", 230-lb Kimball is a long shot to make the bullpen out of camp, but he could be a go-to guy if anyone in the pen falters.

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