Zack Wheeler, Frank Francisco Injury Updates

Zack Wheeler said today is the first time he felt exceptionally good since straining his right oblique.

WHEELER: Feeling better.

WHEELER: Feeling better.

“Today was the first day I felt 100 percent,’’ Wheeler said. “ Every day leading up to today it felt a little better. It was 100 percent today.’’

Wheeler said he threw all his pitches at about 75 effort, but “I let it out a few times.’’

The plan is for him to rest for two days before throwing another bullpen. Ideally, they’d like to get him in a game sometime next week, but it is dependent on how he responds from this.

Wheeler will open the season at Triple-A Las Vegas even if Johan Santana is not ready for Opening Day.

FRANCISCO UPDATE: Frank Francisco said, “you never know … I might surprise you,’’ when asked how realistic it is he’d be ready Opening Day.

Considering manager Terry Collins already indicated that was unlikely and Francisco only long-tossed today.

“I need to get my power back. I don’t have my release point, yet,’’ Francisco said. “I’m having trouble getting loose.’’

Francisco will follow-up tomorrow playing catch and depending how he feels could long toss again. If all goes well, he could throw in the bullpen in two or three days.

“I don’t want to go out and rush things,’’ Francisco said. “I don’t want to risk taking a step back.’’

METS NOTEBOOK: Jon Niese was walking around the clubhouse with a limp and ice bag wrapped to his right knee. … Johan Santana is keeping a low profile, but expressed his condolences on his Twitter account to the family of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. … Still no timetable for Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who has a bruised left knee. “It’s frustrating in the trainer’s room,’’ he said. … Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez are here to join Kevin Burkhardt for SNY’s telecast of today’s game.

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