UPDATE – 7:03 PM:
Matt Harvey and Sandy Alderson just spoke during a press conference at Citi Field. According to Alderson, Matt Harvey’s rehab will involve a throwing program that lasts six to eight weeks.
Here’s what Alderson had to say regarding the percentage of the tear in Harvey’s UCL:
To my knowledge, the doctors have never attached a percentage to the tear…these exams are for stability, strength, & so forth.
Here’s some of what Harvey had to say:
Going through the MRI and having that picture, we knew there was a tear there (in the UCL). Going to see Dr. Andrews, he went through all tests. He believed it was very stable. I’ve never had any pain where the elbow is…both doctors (David Altchek and James Andrews) viewed the MRI and noticed there was a tear. History shows that if you have a UCL tear you need to replace it. Both doctors came to the conclusion of going through the rehab process. If that doesn’t work, the road that needs to be taken is surgery
Harvey isn’t deluding himself. Dr. Andrews viewed the MRI, tested Harvey’s elbow, and told Harvey it was stable. That’s the most important thing here.
While no one is divulging the exact percentage of the tear, it’s almost certainly less than 25 percent. Harvey is doing the right thing by attempting to rehab this. He noted that he’s never had pain in his elbow, and said that fact and the words from Dr. Andrews convinced him that rehab was the way to go.
If the rehab doesn’t go well, Harvey will have Tommy John surgery and miss most or all of 2014 (just as he would have if he underwent surgery today). If the rehab does go well, Harvey will be on the mound at Citi Field for Opening Day in 2014.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Mets pitcher Matt Harvey is expected to attempt to rehab his partially torn UCL in an effort to avoid Tommy John surgery.
Heyman stated in his report that Harvey’s meeting with Dr. James Andrews led directly to this decision.
During an interview on the MLB Network, Heyman reiterated what he stated in his report, but noted that the Mets had yet to confirm or deny its validity.
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.
Heyman goes on to note in his article that the exact details of what was discovered during Harvey’s examination with Dr. James Andrews are not yet known.
If Heyman’s report is accurate, this could potentially be incredibly good news for both the Mets and Harvey.
I’m guessing that the Mets will shed more light on this in the coming hours, but if Harvey is able to successfully rehab his partially torn UCL, he would conceivably be ready for opening day next year.
If Harvey begins his throwing program/rehab in 1 to 2 months (the timetable Heyman gave) and it turns out that he needs surgery anyway, he would still only miss the 2014 season. That fact makes Harvey opting for rehab close to a no lose situation.
I’ve heard a number of media types say that today’s news is a “non update.” I find that claim to be laughable. Today’s news means that Dr. James Andrews – one of the top surgeons in the country – thinks that Matt Harvey may be able to rehabilitate his torn UCL instead of having surgery that would keep him out for roughly a year. That’s not a “non update,” it’s a significant one.