Rumors are all over the internet that New York Mets ace starter Matt Harvey is excited about possibly avoiding Tommy John Surgery on his injured pitching elbow. Anyone can understand the reason why Harvey would seek a second opinion about his elbow and be pumped that he might not have to have it surgically repaired right now. After all who wants to lose an entire season of their career when they are pitching as well as Harvey was this season? Sadly enough, I have to say that the only logical course of action however, is for Harvey to go ahead with the surgery right now.
It sounds crazy on the surface but not when you think about the alternative. Is it possible for the elbow to be rehabbed to the point where Harvey can pitch next season? It probably is, we’ll all find out for sure when he gets his second opinion. The fact of the matter is that no matter whether it can be rehabbed or not, the chances of the elbow needing surgery before the end of next season are high. If it were usually avoidable, most pitchers wouldn’t have the surgery and lose that season.
The reason they go ahead and have the repair is that the elbow is as good as new if not better after the surgery. In Harvey’s situation, he could be looking at a season where he will have to be shut down two to four times over the course of the year to rest the elbow again. Chances are the injury would be made worse unless Harvey changed something about his delivery and who wants him to have to do that? Basically the choice isn’t surgery or no surgery; it is surgery now or surgery later. It would be better for him to lose next season and be firing ready for 2015 than to stumble through a terrible year next year and lose both 2014 and 2015.