Mets’ Matt Harvey Wants To Avoid Surgery

Matt Harvey, the New York Mets’ best story of the season before an elbow injury sidelined him until, well, who really knows when?

Not Harvey, anyway. Harvey, speaking at an appearance at a Manhattan firehouse this afternoon along with David Wright, Zack Wheeler and CEO Jeff Wilpon, is insistent of eschewing surgery.

HARVEY: Doesn't want surgery.

HARVEY: Doesn’t want surgery.

“Everything feels fine. My arm feels great,’’ Harvey said. “I’m still very optimistic about everything. But I’m not a doctor, so we’ll see what happens.’’

Harvey is scheduled for a second opinion with Dr. James Andrews next week. Harvey said his arm feels “great,’’ but then again, he hasn’t pitched since Aug. 24 against Detroit, so it should feel good.

However, that time off hasn’t healed a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. Harvey is hoping the tear will heal itself with rest, but there exists the risk of him going into next season and tearing it worse and possibly missing all of 2015.

As it is, if Harvey opts for surgery, there is a chance he could pitch at the end of next season.

“If we do go the surgery route, having it sooner so maybe I can get back in September next year if that’s an 11-month process, that’s a possibility,’’ Harvey said. “But, like I said, we haven’t gotten that far. I’m not an M.D., so I don’t really know those answers.’’

Andrews should be able to provide those answers next week. In the interim, Harvey said he’ll talk with as many people as he can, but ultimately the decision is his.

There are no guarantees with or without surgery, but the odds might be in his favor if he takes the knife.

General manager Sandy Alderson has long projected 2014 as the year the Mets could reach competitive status because the contract of Johan Santana will be off the books and the team should have the latitude to spend this winter.

Alderson said the plan, as it should be, is to plan for 2014 without Harvey, and that includes shopping for a veteran free agent in the off-season.

The Mets might consider the Yankees’ Phil Hughes, whose style might be better acclimated to the larger Citi Field than bandbox Yankee Stadium.

Hughes, battered this season, has been demoted to the bullpen.

However, he’s healthy, and at 28, is young enough to turn it around, and the Mets could provide that opportunity.

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2 thoughts on “Mets’ Matt Harvey Wants To Avoid Surgery

  1. I’d bet Dr. Andrews convinces him of surgery. Seems like even if you put it off, it’ll eventually be necessary. I guess Halladay put it off indefinitely, but just seems like a bad bet. Recent stories suggest Harvey was sort of hiding pain for a month. I thought his last two starts or so, before the all star game were so-so at best, at least for him. He didn’t dominate as he had through June. Mets brass might have noticed this, except he was so phenomenal, maybe they thought this was a back to reality normal regression. But if you look at Hefner, similar situation. Outstanding, and then, terrible. This is where stats should really help. With Hefner, it was obvious, but wasn’t he terrible for like 4 starts? Maybe after 2 distinct changes in performance, pitchers should be checked automatically. I mean, Hefner went from the best pitcher in baseball, to losing velocity pretty dramatically.

  2. kidc11: Interesting point on a pitcher being checked after a couple of bad starts. You’re dead on about Hefner. He was terrific then became a batting practice pitcher. … Harvey did have discomfort in his forearm before the diagnosis. I wrote at the time with Harvey he should get a MRI if he sneezes. It comes off as showcasing him for the All-Star Game was more important. … Then came monitoring the innings. There should have been a plan in place before the season started. The Mets misplayed Harvey on so many levels, but Harvey didn’t help himself by pitching in pain.-JD