UPDATE: The Mets confirmed that Harvey will try to rehab his injury for now, but GM Sandy Alderson said Tommy John could still be a possibility in a few months.
Sandy Alderson says "there will be no surgery immediately." Throwing program of 6 to 8 weeks and see how elbow responds. #mets
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) September 17, 2013
Sandy Alderson says 2015 should not be impacted, even if it ultimately is determined two months down the road Tommy John surgery is required — Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) September 17, 2013
Check out Adam Rubin of ESPN New York's Twitter feed for more tidbits from Tuesday's press conference.
ORIGINAL POST: The New York Mets are expected to announce Tuesday what injured ace Matt Harvey will do about the partially torn UCL in his right elbow. But CBS Sports' Jon Heyman has apparently beaten them to it. He is reporting that Harvey won't have surgery, but instead will attempt to rehab the injury.
The diagnosis apparently was positive enough that Harvey is expected to try rehab for now, then begin a throwing program in 1-2 months. Surgery remains a possibility, depending on how the rehab and throwing go.
Given the timing of Harvey's injury, he does have the flexibility to attempt a rehab program before ultimately opting for surgery. Whether he had Tommy John surgery today or Dec. 1, Harvey would be lost until the start of the 2015 season. But rehab brings with it the risk of Harvey thinking he's OK, starting to pitch next season, then fully tearing his UCL in, say, May or June. That would then set back the timetable another year.
Harvey's injury was announced late last month, ending a breakout season for the new Mets ace, in which he became one of the most dominant pitchers in the game. He threw 178.1 innings with a 2.27 ERA and 191 strikeouts, the fourth most in baseball at the time of his injury. Harvey started the All-Star Game for the National League and was a Cy Young candidate despite playing for the less-than-stellar Mets.
The team said Harvey would ultimately make the call (with doctors' input, of course) about what to do. Through one door was Tommy John surgery, a virtual guarantee that he'd be OK, he'd just have to skip a season first. Through the other door: The riskier rehab program.
Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley tried what Harvey is reportedly trying after a UCL injury last season. After a couple of starts in the 2013 season, Billingsley needed Tommy John surgery. But Adam Wainwright, on the other hand, rehabbed a partial UCL tear and lasted another five seasons before needing surgery.