After having Tommy John surgery in late October, Matt Harvey has long insisted on returning this season. The prescribed recovery period from the procedure is generally 12 to 18 months, but Harvey was hoping to come back much sooner.
Now, however, that ambitious goal is looking increasingly unlikely. Harvey was supposed to throw off a mound for the first time this week, but those plans have now been postponed.
The Mets are also now saying he will not be allowed to pitch in a game until 11 months after the surgery. That would set him up for a return very late in September, at the earliest.
Here is what Harvey told MLB.com after the news was revealed:
"I'm always going to be on board with what they have to say. I can only do so much, and speak my two cents. As a competitor, I'm always going to want to get out there, but I can't write myself out there and set up my own program, so whatever they have set up is obviously the way we're going to go.
"I think it was a matter of me not wanting it to happen. I still want to pitch this year. That's always going to be on my mind. But coming to realize that I can't write myself in the lineup is becoming a little bit more realistic."
Harvey is probably looking at a return in 2015, which was expected from the start. The Mets are unlikely to compete for the division crown this season, giving little reason for him to rush back. This will set him up next year to join a promising Mets roster that could be ready to challenge for a playoff spot by then.