Harvey, 24, has opted to rehab his partially torn UCL, rather than undergoing Tommy John surgery. After making the announcement during his press conference, Sandy Alderson floated the possibility that the Mets’ top starter could pitch in the AFL.
Harvey, who has not begun throwing yet, says he feels fine after consulting with Dr. Andrews and is resting his elbow while working on strengthening exercises to stabilize the elbow joint and put less stress on the UCL.
However, Alderson wants Harvey back on a mound and throwing competitively within a 6-8 week window. His reasoning for rushing Harvey back to a mound is that he wants Harvey pitching at a “near-competitive level pain-free, and perhaps on more than one occasion” before signing off on this continued course of rehab.
Whether or not this course of action can turn the partial tear into a full tear is not yet known, but several have said that could be a strong possibility – especially if Harvey isn’t given the proper amount of time to stabilize and strengthen the joint.
“The longer he continues to strengthen the other muscles and ligaments in the surrounding structure, the better his odds become of avoiding Tommy John altogether,” one orthopedic surgeon told me.
Regardless, Alderson said he wants to see Harvey pitching full throttle and in the heat of competition in back to back starts by by mid-November.
“The strong desire is that we will finish this process within the six- to eight-week time frame,” Alderson said.
Today’s news clears he way for Harvey to pitch in AFL.
The AFL schedule runs through November 15, so expect Harvey to pitch his first game around November 5 and his second game 6-8 days after that.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed on this…