Matt Harvey doesn’t give in easily, but finally admitted he won’t be a part of the 2014 New York Mets as anything but a footnote.
Harvey, who recently said he wanted to pitch this season if his rehab from Tommy John surgery is complete by September, caved in Sunday and acknowledged it to be a long shot. Perhaps that his locker isn’t on `Starters Row,’ but close to the training room might have been the deciding factor.
“It’s a little bit difficult of a day considering I’m starting to realize that the year is not going to go the way I wanted it to,’’ Harvey told reporters in Port St. Lucie Sunday. “But, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, and the rehab is going to continue. I’m not sure when I’m going to start throwing, but hopefully in the near future.
“It’s hard seeing all the guys, seeing them put their uniforms on, and realizing that spring training is going to go a little differently this year.’’
It had to be tough emotionally for him considering the high he rode last season until injuring his elbow. He had New York in the palm of his hand, but couldn’t ignore the nagging pain in his forearm and elbow.
Initially, Harvey wanted to choose rest over surgery, but finally relented. He said he’s finally at peace with the decision.
“I needed that time to make the decision and make sure that it was the right one and the one that I wanted to go with,’’ Harvey said. “I’m happy that I did things on my own time. Mentally moving forward I think that was a big thing for me to do.’’
As of now, Harvey will miss 2014. Had he opted for rest he might have been ready, but if he later blew out his elbow he would have missed the remainder of 2014 plus 2015. Considering those options, Harvey opted to miss the least amount of time as possible.
Mets physicians will soon meet with Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery, to map out a timetable for his rehab this season and this throwing program.
“Whenever they decide I can throw, that’s their decision. I can only make sure I’m strong and flexible,’’ Harvey said. “It’s definitely tough, but I’ve come to the realization that I have to listen to them and I can’t push too much.’’
That rushing sound you hear is a sigh of relief from Mets’ management.
Harvey is a competitor with no quit. Maybe he needed this experience to understand the fragility of his career and better take care of his arm.
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