After meeting with renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Monday, New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey will likely forgo surgery on his injured elbow, according to CBS Sports’ John Heyman.
The All-Star right-hander is expected to begin a six-to-eight week pitching program. The plan is to rehab what team doctors initially diagnosed as a partially torn Ulnar Collateral Ligament in his pitching elbow, then begin throwing to test the arm.
Harvey, 24, will eventually throw again before making his final decision. Should the arm not respond to therapy, Surgery would still be an option. Tommy John Surgery, the most common treatment for such injuries, usually requires a full year of rehab, so it’s understandable that Harvey would prefer to avoid the procedure at all costs.
Alderson believes reports that Harvey’s injury could have any major impact on the team’s offseason plans are overblown.
“The one thing we have is a great deal of starting pitching depth,” Alderson said Tuesday in a pregame presser. “Hopefully Matt is part of that rotation next year, but if he’s not, I don’t foresee us working hard to fill his spot from outside the organization.”
The free agent pitching market isn’t particularly strong this year. In the event Harvey requires the procedure, the Mets have several untested prospects in the upper minors (Montero, Syndergaard, DeGrom) who may compete for a rotation spot out of Spring Training.
Harvey remains confident and hopeful he can avoid surgery altogether. He mentioned that he hasn’t felt any pain since first being shut down in August. The pain initially went unattended, because he felt tightness in the forearm rather than the elbow where the UCL is located, so Harvey decided to try to pitch through it.
Harvey was having a brilliant season before being shut down. He had a 2.27 ERA in 178 1/3 innings. His 2.01 FIP led the Major Leagues, and his 27.7% K rate was tops in the NL.