Harvey Speaks To Halladay, Doctor Says Surgery Can Be Avoided

An article by posted on August 29, 2013

matt harvey

Matt Harvey was in no mood to talk to reporters yesterday, telling a group of them, “I’m good” after they approached him wanting to know more about his tweet heard ’round the world. The injured ace, who is hoping to avoid Tommy John surgery, was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, but tweeted Tuesday that he’ll be back on the mound next April.

I can’t say that I blame him for shunning the press after SNY and other media outlets decided to mock him for his optimism and poke fun at him all day… “Maybe he’s delusional”, Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog quipped.

Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters that Harvey is in good spirits after talking to other pitchers who had similar injuries and decided against surgery. That includes former Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay of the Phillies.

“It just sounded similar to what I had,” said Halladay. “I was talking to Terry Collins, and he asked if I’d talk to Matt. We just talked a little bit about some of the strengthening stuff I did. It sounded to me that it’s very similar to what I had.”

“I shared that with him and what I went through. Dr. James Andrews had told me that they felt like at some point they would have to go in and repair it. That was eight years ago, and I’ve never had an issue since.”

Halladay has won 16 or more games six times since he opted against surgery and finished in the top five in Cy Young voting for six straight seasons, actually winning the second Cy Young of his career in 2010.

Collins or Harvey didn’t reveal which other pitchers they spoke to who also successfully let the UCL tear heal on its own and went on with their careers.

The reaction to Harvey’s tweet was addressed by Sandy Alderson as well yesterday, ”There is some possibility that surgery can be avoided,” Alderson said. “There is still some possibility that surgery will not occur and Matt will decide to do something else. We’re going to wait three weeks and test it, to see if he’s hurting.”

Scott Boras, who represents Matt Harvey, also agreed saying that is depends on how big or small the tear is and for now it’s too early to tell.

“When you’re talking about the term ‘partial tear,’ you’re talking about 5 percent to 95 percent. You have to get in and get the specifics and get more information medically before we can really make a determination as to what we’re dealing with. There’s a lot of swelling in there now. … I’ve had situations with no surgery.”

The one thing the drama queens, pessimists, and shock-bloggers won’t tell you, is what one sports surgeon told me yesterday after I reached out to get some outside opinions.

“The fact that there is no shooting pain and no mention of soreness or pain in the elbow itself, would indicate a very small tear. When your UCL ligament goes or ‘pops’ you know it… you feel it.”

“So far, based on what you’re telling me, all they know is that this player has a sore forearm which could be a precursor and indication of something worse or more significant like a UCL tear. But the fact his soreness is limited to just the forearm and not the elbow, bodes well for a small tear that can heal on its own with appropriate rest, rehab and strengthening exercises for the surrounding area in that elbow.”

“From what you’ve told me, the diagnosis itself sounds very preliminary and mostly inconclusive. It’s certainly not enough to say surgery is a slam dunk. Better imaging will give the doctors a clearer indication as to the extent of the tear and if it’s small enough, there’s no reason why he cannot avoid surgery and pitch to the same level as he was pre-injury.”

The Mets said no decision will be made until Harvey is re-examined in a few weeks after the swelling subsides.

Original Post 8/28

I’m officially in 2014 mode, what about you? Actually, I have been for some time now, but the Matt Harvey news and the purge that followed clinched it for me.

Speaking of Harvey, God bless that poor kid. After the news broke about his torn UCL, my heart went out to him and I tweeted him the following:

Matt Harvey responded to the overwhelming outpouring of prayers and hope with the following:

I responded back to him with yet more optimism and also a warning:

Then 30 minutes later, this from MetsBlog:

Matt Harvey will be ready April 1?

Umm, what’s that? April 1? So, does this mean he isn’t having surgery? Or, maybe it means he thinks he isn’t having surgery? Or, maybe he’s delusional? I can’t wait to find out more…

Wow, delusional?

What is there to find out?

This is about a kid whose entire world was turned upside down after spending the last 18 months sitting on top of it…

He’s thanking his fans while showing some optimism, likely more for his own good than for ours…

What kind of reporting is this? Better yet what kind of show of support is this for our team’s most valuable asset and player who has thrilled like no other from the first day he burst onto the scene?

I hope to High Heaven that Matt Harvey never saw that post on MetsBlog calling him out for showing a little optimism… Calling him delusional…

This post is to commend Matt for his message of hope and wish him well as he faces one of the toughest decisions of his life…

Matt, do whatever your heart tells you to do… It’s gotten you this far already… Don’t stop now…

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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