Matt Harvey, after consulting with the famous Dr. James Andrews, has decided to try a throwing rehab program over the next 6 to 8 weeks before making a decision about surgery.
So, the wait begins again. Most fans, including this writer, thought that surgery was the most likely and best route for Harvey and his career. Now Harvey is not saying no to surgery all together, but is trying to rehab the elbow naturally with the hopes of avoiding surgery altogether. The end result of this rehab could be that Harvey does need the surgery and the Mets are back where they were weeks ago when panic set in among the fan base.
The telling sign that came out of this was the fact that Dr. Andrews allowed Harvey to start the program. In other words: Andrews doesn’t think surgery may be needed. Now Dr. Andrews isn’t perfect but his track record is pretty good, so when he makes a statement like that, people listen. At first, fans panicked at the thought of Harvey and Dr. Andrews meeting to discuss this elbow. But it seems that Andrews believes the elbow can heal naturally and Harvey can possible avoid surgery.
What does this mean for Mets fans and the future for this team?
Well, it kind of made it a bit more hazy. The choice by Harvey to attempt a throwing program to rehab the elbow delays a surgery decision for another 6-8 weeks, meaning no real closure has come to this situation. One good thing that should come of this is Harvey’s ability to still throw a baseball, as his elbow is deemed stable enough to throw. 6-8 weeks down the road, which is around November, is in the middle of the off-season and Sandy Alderson should be putting his “plan” into motion for 2014. Not having an answer as to what Harvey’s status for 2014 is can hurt Alderson’s ability to make certain moves. But what this move does allow is for Harvey to avoid surgery, see if he can heal the elbow naturally and hope to be on the mound Opening Day 2014 in April. For Mets fans, this is a win-win. He isn’t going to add any addition rehab time to surgery by trying to rehab it now and is able to keep the prospects of pitching next year in sight.
Yet the team and it’s fans are just sitting around waiting for this huge decision to be made, just like it was when the injury was announced. So weeks later, the team is still at square one. Some good news has been learned, but Harvey’s 2014 status is still in question. For the Mets, this is a cloud that really needs some clarity. One pitchers elbow is potentially determining the direction of a franchise, or at least what 2014 is going to look. The light at the end of the tunnel seemed close but a traffic jam, or an elbow ligament, has delayed that. The journey still presses on this winter, and this delay will make the success even sweeter.