While in Boston last night to accept an award at their BBWAA dinner, Harvey discussed how his recovery is going, and stated his desire to return in September of this year:
When you see stories of guys coming back in 10 months, I’m going to think, ‘Hey, I can come back in nine. Unfortunately, I don’t make those decisions. I can’t throw the uniform on and go back on the mound without the permission of higher-ups.
Harvey noted that his rehab is moving along at a brisk pace, and that his rehab coordinator at times has to slow him down:
He says, ‘I don’t really know what to do, you’re just moving on so quickly that we sometimes have to pump the brakes.’ We can’t go full throttle. But everything feels so good that it’s becoming a little boring, that I’m ready to go and get ready for spring training.
There have been players who have returned from Tommy John surgery in less than 12 months, and there’s no reason to think that Harvey can’t become another.
What matters above all else, is how Harvey feels, what the doctors and his rehab coordinator allow him to do, and when.
Harvey’s mentality is such that no one should be surprised that he wants to return in late 2014. A few years ago, Stephen Strasburg returned to the Nationals in September after having Tommy John surgery late during the previous season.
The Mets may want to tell Harvey to wait until 2015. However, if his doctors give him clearance to return this season, it should give him a head start on getting back to full strength in 2015.