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Matt Harvey will put off surgery, attempt rest and rehab

Sep 17, 2013, 2:46 PM EDT

Matt Harvey AP

UPDATE, 7:29 p.m. ET: The Mets confirmed Tuesday night that Harvey will try a two-month throwing program and see how his elbow responds. This according to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin.

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2:46 p.m. ET: Mets right-hander Matt Harvey met with Dr. James Andrews yesterday to determine which course of action to take with his partially torn elbow ligament and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that “the diagnosis apparently was positive enough that Harvey is expected to try rehab for now, then begin a throwing program in 1-2 months.”

Taking the “rest and rehab” approach to a torn ulnar collateral ligament has a remarkably low success rate, so odds are Harvey will eventually wind up having Tommy John surgery either way. However, because undergoing surgery now would almost surely mean missing the entire 2014 season anyway delaying the decision for another 1-2 months wouldn’t have a huge impact on his timetable.

No official announcement has been made yet by the Mets, but that’s expected soon.

  1. Reflex - Sep 17, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    So I guess he returns Sept 2015 now instead of April 2015…

    • kingscourt25 - Sep 17, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      it’ll be April 2016 if he gets hurt again

  2. rickdobrydney - Sep 17, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Kind of expected this, given his personality — The way he pitches , however, will make surgery a necessity before too much longer.

  3. beearl - Sep 17, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Curious, who are the rehab vs surgery success stories with this kind of injury? I mean returning to dominant form without eventually undergoing TJ surgery.

    • paperlions - Sep 17, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      “Eventually can be a long time” Wainwright pitched effectively with a partially torn UCL for years…and it was fine, until it wasn’t. Every MLB pitcher has some level of damage to his UCL, you can’t pitch and not screw it up.

  4. yahmule - Sep 17, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Disappointed by his decision. I hoped someone would persuade him otherwise.

  5. xdj511 - Sep 17, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    He’s just putting off the inevitable. Isn’t there somebody that can talk some sense into him? Henrik Lundqvist? Anyone?

  6. chacochicken - Sep 17, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    So, legally, are the Mets allowed to do a reverse organ thief deal? Matt Harvey just wakes up with his arm in a tub of ice with someone’s ulnar ligament in his elbow?

  7. steelers88 - Sep 17, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Matt Harvey is stupid! Take the surgery you will be back quicker than just rest and rehab.

  8. rickdobrydney - Sep 17, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    I have a feeling HARVEY talked Dr. Andrews into this —-

    • bbk1000 - Sep 17, 2013 at 7:33 PM

      after the RG3 deal who knows…..

  9. The Dangerous Mabry - Sep 17, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    The current plan doesn’t meaningfully delay his timeline, since he’s intending to throw in a couple of months. If he has problems, he’ll get the surgery in December or something similar, which still has him missing 2014 and pitching in 2015. The only problem here is if he feels ok in two months, then breaks down later, which is of course a possibility. But this initial waiting period shouldn’t delay anything assuming he still ends up needing to go under the knife. And if he doesn’t, well, then he’s gained himself back a season if he pitches in 2014.

    • byjiminy - Sep 18, 2013 at 1:12 AM

      But nobody is full strength after a year. Typically TJ surgery takes a year and a half or more to recover from. So pushing it back does have a big impact on when in 2015 he’ll be pitching again WELL. It’s just wishful thinking, and could lead to an even worse injury. Get it over with, bro.

  10. senioreditor2 - Sep 17, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    Dear Mets fans, please refer to the Chad Billingsley situation for any future prognosis……………1-2 months of rehab, everything is great, spring training arrives and 2 things will happen:
    1. Harvey makes a few starts, feels pain, they shut him down, operate and he’s gone +- 18 months from March 2014.

    2. Harvey makes it through spring training, starts the season well, pitches a month or two, feels pain, they shut him down, operate and he’s gone +- 18 months from June 2014.

    EITHER WAY, WAITING WILL ONLY DELAY THE INEVITABLE.

  11. bbk1000 - Sep 17, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Between the ESPN magazine thing, the living like Jeter comments and now this I’m starting to think Harvey is one big dummy…….

  12. Carl Hancock - Sep 17, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Good luck with this one Mets fans. Cards have lost Jason Motte and Rafael Furcal to the same scenario in the last 12 months. Rehab instead of TJ which cost them precious time to return from it. Have fun.

  13. robp628 - Sep 17, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    Unreal…but in the world of the NY Mets, it figures..😗

  14. coryfor3 - Sep 17, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    And In a short time, this blog will read “Harvey to have surgery”

  15. jwbiii - Sep 17, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    “That never works!” – Rocket J. Squirrel

  16. chill1184 - Sep 17, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    You trolls realize that if the team forced Harvey to get the surgery the players union would be filing a grievance before Harvey leaves Alderson’s office right?

  17. dmartc1023 - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    Great decision. Come on guys its Matt Harvey, he’s a beast. With that said nobody knows their body best then themselves and in this case even the doc recommended the same decision. I bet he’s going to be alright. He is saying he never got the pains in his elbow. Yes, he wasn’t the same the last 3,4 starts before getting shut down but I’m sure that forearm tightness was affecting him and nothing to do with elbow. He has a good point if you haven’t felt anything or it just feels normal why operate?

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  20. shaggylocks - Sep 18, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Hey, shouldn’t we be using this time to honor and support Quallcom?

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