“I want to be out there, definitely,” deGrom said, noting that his forearm soreness has calmed significantly over the past week. “But at the same time, I’ve got to be smart about it, and make sure that I am feeling fine before I go back out there.”

It has been a difficult month for deGrom, whom the Mets skipped in the rotation after he allowed 13 runs over two starts to end August, then shut down after he complained of forearm soreness following his next start. deGrom did not throw for a full week after that, finally stepping onto the field to play long toss Friday in Atlanta.

The next day, he felt well enough to advance to a mound for the first time since Sept. 1, despite admitting that the bullpen session was “as light as it gets.”

“I think it was a product of feeling good after [Friday],” deGrom said. “We’re just going to take it day by day. I felt good today, so I wanted to throw light off the mound, and just see how it reacts.”

Rafael Montero, who has filled in for deGrom twice in September, will make a third start Monday in Washington. But there is still time for deGrom to make as many as three starts down the stretch.

Montero's return to the Majors

Montero’s return to the Majors

MIA@NYM: Montero tosses five scoreless innings

Rafael Montero pitches five innings of scoreless ball against the Marlins and allows just two hits while striking out three

The Mets will take any starts they can get from a pitcher who was 7-5 with a 2.29 ERA before his troubles began bubbling up in August. But they also have confidence to give deGrom the rest he needs, considering the contributions that Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman have given the rotation. The Mets are 7-2 in the games those two and Montero have started since mid-August.

“They’ve done a great job,” deGrom said. “They’re fun to watch. That’s kind of how I got my chance, making a start for somebody. They’ve made the best of it, and they’ve done a great job of keeping this team in ballgames and giving us a chance to win.”

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Mets News / deGrom improving, throws light bullpen session