Pedro won't rush return from shoulder surgery

Updated: January 10, 2007, 10:19 PM ET
Associated Press

Pedro Martinez

NEW YORK -- As the New York Mets struck a deal with left-handed reliever Scott Schoeneweis, ace starter Pedro Martinez promised he won't rush his return from shoulder surgery.

Martinez missed the playoffs last season with a torn right rotator cuff and a left calf injury. He could begin throwing again in March, and he's expected back on the mound in July or August.

"My timetable will be the exact one that the doctor predicted," Martinez said Wednesday at the Mets' voluntary minicamp in Port St. Lucie, Fla. "Like I said before, I'm not going to try to be overaggressive and risk anything. I'll do what they told me to do and I'll try to come back fine -- not only for a year or two, but for the rest of my career."

Martinez said his shoulder is coming along well, leaving him optimistic that he'll be back on the mound next summer as planned.

"The way I feel, I would say yes," Martinez said. "But I'm not going to take a chance, to be honest."

Mets manager Willie Randolph and GM Omar Minaya were among the staff in attendance at minicamp. Martinez said he reported to show them how his rehabilitation is going.

"Right now, I just need to get my regimen and let them know what point I am in my rehab, just to pretty much keep in touch with everybody," he said.

The 35-year-old right-hander finished last season 9-8 with a career-worst 4.48 ERA in 23 starts, the fewest he had made since 2001, when he started 18 games for Boston. Martinez avoided shoulder surgery back then and rebounded to win 20 games the following season.

"I think this was a little worse than I was in 2001 -- 2001 was something I could rehab and I did and it paid off for five years," he said. "But after five years and a couple of bad legs, that will hurt you. And I think that was worse because I never experienced anything like I did last year."

Martinez said the surgery might help him regain some of the velocity he lost the last few seasons.

"That's what I was told by the doctors, that if everything went right, my rehab went right, probably my velocity would pick up," he said. "Because everything was fine with my ligaments and my muscles and hopefully, it will be the truth. If not, I'll just continue to use my head and continue to do what I know how to do."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press