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Mets Close To Announcement On Opening Day Starter; Marcum Gets Cortisone Shot

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Mets have another pitcher to worry about.

Shaun Marcum headed to New York for a cortisone shot in his right shoulder Wednesday while the Mets were beating the Houston Astros 7-5.

Manager Terry Collins expects the right-hander to return for another spring training start early next week.

"He said he gets it every spring, pretty much," Collins said. "He just wanted to get it cleared up early so he can take a couple extra days now and he can go into his last start of the spring and extend himself a little bit."

Marcum, a winter free-agent singing, isn't the first Mets starter to have health issues this spring. Johan Santana hasn't pitched in a game as he builds strength in his throwing shoulder.

Speaking of Santana, Collins said he'd announce his starter for Opening Day "in the next couple of days."

Jon Niese will take the mound if Santana isn't ready. At this point, all signs point to the 26-year-old Niese.

"It'd be great," said Niese. "It would be an honor. It's great that the Mets have put their trust in me."

Also, closer Frank Francisco has been sidelined because he is bothered by the same elbow inflammation that ended his 2012 season on Sept. 16 and reliever Pedro Feliciano is dealing with a heart issue.

Mets fans -- is Niese your first choice for Opening Day? Sound off in the comments...

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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