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Mets May Shut Down Johan Santana

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 17: Johan Santana #57 of the New York Mets prepares to throw a pitch against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on August 17, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 17: Johan Santana #57 of the New York Mets prepares to throw a pitch against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on August 17, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
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The New York Mets may be forced to shut down left-hander Johan Santana yet again, pending the results of a back exam scheduled for today, reports Howie Kussoy of the New York Post.

Before last night’s game, the Mets had decided the two-time Cy Young winner was going to stay in the rotation and make his scheduled start on Thursday against the Rockies. After the 3-1 loss to the Rockies, however, manager Terry Collins said Santana’s status is now in question because he will have an MRI exam on his back today.

Santana, 33, has been dealing with lower back pain for a while but had said it would not prevent him from pitching. That statement may prove to be misguided if the results of his MRI are not positive.

Mets manager Terry Collins said that he hopes that Santana will be able to make his next scheduled start on Thursday, but that he is also prepared to scratch the former Cy Young winner if necessary. If Santana does make his start, Collins said he will be limited to well under one hundred pitches.

After putting up a 2.76 ERA in a stellar first half that included the first no-hitter in Mets franchise history, Santana has struggled mightily. The left-hander has a 15.63 ERA in his last five starts, giving up at least six runs in each appearance, and has also dealt with a nagging ankle injury.