Ever since New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey was sidelined with an elbow injury last August with Tommy John surgery being a strong possibility, it’s been assumed that Harvey would miss the entire 2014 season. But Harvey’s recovery from Tommy John Surgery is reportedly ahead of schedule, and Harvey is making rumblings that he’d like to come back and pitch towards the end of the 2014 season.
Recovery from Tommy John Surgery generally lasts 12 months. But because Harvey waited to have the surgery — holding out hope that he could rehab the injury and avoid surgery — that 12-month recovery time won’t be over until after the 2014 season — assuming the Mets aren’t playing in the postseason in mid-October.
However, Harvey has said that he’s ahead of schedule for the normal recovery time which could open the door for a return before the season ends. Harvey’s competitive edge could push him into coming back as soon as he can, especially if pitching during the 2014 season season becomes a possibility.
The question then becomes: Would the Mets allow him to pitch in 2014 if he’s healthy enough to do so? If somehow the Mets are able to keep themselves in contention into September even without Harvey leading their rotation, that would become a tempting proposition being that it’s been so long since the Mets made a serious run at a spot in the postseason.
However, the chance to compete in 2014 would have to be weighed against the opportunity the Mets will have to compete in subsequent years with a healthy Harvey leading their rotation, and that may be something the Mets are not willing to risk.
We’re still a long way away from Harvey having a chance to pitch in 2014, but if you saw Harvey pitch last season you know that he’s capable of some incredible feats — one of which may be returning from Tommy John early and pitching in the big leagues during the 2014 season. It’s unlikely but not impossible, and it would certainly put the Mets in quite a conundrum.