His agent, Scott Boras, wants him to take it slow.
Boras is in the conservative camp when it comes to returning from the ligament replacement surgery in the elbow and believes the highest success rate for a full recovery is 14-16 months (ESPN, July 11).
“The doctors are always telling us 14 to 16 months they’re having the higher success rates than they are the 10- to 12-month period,” Boras told ESPN. “So is that a definitive measure? The doctors will always tell you they’re unsure. But with elite athletes, high ‘velo’ guys, to err on conservatism and more time I think is the proper course.”
Harvey had the surgery on Oct. 22, 2013 and the conservative schedule should have him ready for spring training in 2015. Harvey, of course, wants to come back early and wanted to get on the mound last month (Sports Illustrated, May 20). The Mets won't sign off on him getting on the mound before the All-Star break.
“Look, a competitive athlete is never comfortable with the timeline,” Boras said. “I just watched Matt throw. He looks great.”
Boras' agency did a study on Tommy John surgery, going back to 2004. According to Boras, high-velocity pitchers who come to the Major Leagues from 19-21 years-old are susceptible to the ligament tear. Boras has proposed innings caps for those young pitchers at 100 to 110 per year with 10-inning increments every year.
Harvey pitched 135 2/3 innings in 2011, 169 1/3 in 2012 and 178 1/3 last season when he tore his UCL in his right elbow.