Santana undergoes knee surgery

October 1, 2008 5:58:27 PM PDT
Mets ace Johan Santana had arthroscopic surgery on torn cartilage in his left knee Wednesday and is expected to be ready for spring training. News of the injury came as a surprise. Santana pitched a three-hit shutout on short rest Saturday against Florida to pull the Mets into a tie for the NL wild card. They were eliminated from playoff contention the following day.

"Johan's exit physical, standard for all players, took place yesterday," general manager Omar Minaya said in a statement Wednesday. "An MRI revealed a torn meniscus in his left knee, which necessitated surgery. Johan had mentioned some mild discomfort after his start in Washington, which did not preclude him from facing the Cubs or Marlins last week. Most important is that the operation was successful and he'll be ready to go before spring training."

Santana was brilliant in his first season with the Mets, going 16-7 with a major league-best 2.53 ERA and 206 strikeouts in 234 1-3 innings after coming over from Minnesota in a blockbuster trade in February. The two-time AL Cy Young Award winner just completed the first season of a $137.5 million, six-year contract.