NEW YORK -- The Minor League season is still in progress for one Mets affiliate, meaning Johan Santana's rehab assignment is still in progress, as well.

Santana will make his next rehab start on Thursday for Class A Savannah, which has advanced to the South Atlantic League's championship series. Santana, who played a role in the Sand Gnats' recent success by throwing three effective innings in the semifinals, is scheduled to start Game 3 of their best-of-five series against Greensboro and throw a maximum of four innings.

Though it is all but certain that Santana will not return to the Mets this season, he could proceed either to instructional league or winter ball following the completion of the Minor League playoffs.

Now almost exactly one year removed from surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder, Santana played catch on Sunday from 90 feet, and plans to throw his routine between-starts bullpen session on Monday. As long as he feels no discomfort, he will then make his rehab start Thursday.

Santana, who will turn 33 in March, was 11-9 with a 2.98 ERA in 29 starts prior to his operation last September.

Turner comes off bench to get key hit

NEW YORK -- Mets infielder Justin Turner was out of the starting lineup Sunday for a second straight day due to illness.

But he made an appearance in the eighth as a pinch-hitter, and his infield single led to the Mets tying the game after a throwing error by Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija on the play.

Prior to the game, Mets manager Terry Collins said about Turner: "His stomach feels better but he still has a little bit of a sinus and headache issue going on." Ruben Tejada started a second straight game at second base in place of Turner, who hit a walk-off double Friday night but was a late scratch from New York's lineup the following afternoon. Entering Sunday hitting .268 with four home runs and 49 RBIs this season, Turner -- who called his illness "more of a head cold" -- was in the midst of a .394 hot streak with a .429 on-base percentage in September.

"I'm hoping [Monday] I wake up and my head feels a little clearer," he said.

Also cracking Sunday's lineup was catcher Ronny Paulino, who is nursing a broken toe and had started just three games behind the plate since Aug. 22.