At the request of Terry Collins, Roy Halladay talked with Matt Harvey for 20 minutes about his elbow injury, the manager told reporters Wednesday.
“I really appreciated it,” Collins said about Halladay, according to the New York Times. “A guy like him, just the fact that he’s going to talk to an opponent and give the time to a guy he doesn’t know, speaks a lot about the character of Roy Halladay. And you know what, when you’re Matt Harvey, that’s the guy you want him to be.”
Halladay was shut down September 2006 with pain in his throwing elbow. Similar to Harvey, Halladay had to wait for the swelling to go down in his elbow before doctors could recommend a course of action. Ultimately, despite the initial fear, doctors found no serious tear in Halladay’s elbow. Instead of having surgery, Halladay rehabilitated his elbow and started the next year’s spring training.
In an interview Wednesday with ESPN 98.7 FM, Sandy Alderson said that, while there is always the possibility surgery could be avoided, he doesn’t want Harvey getting his hopes up.
“Typically, in these situations where denial is part of one’s reaction, the passage of time usually helps with that,” Alderson said.
By the way, according to Halladay, if he were to start a franchise, Harvey is the guy he would want, he told Newsday.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
It’s all about that next visit between Harvey and his doctor, at which point they’ll determine how bad the tear is in his elbow.
The way I understand, there is a certain percentage of a tear that will require surgery if he ever wants to pitch again. If it’s a small enough tear, doctors may recommend surgery, but it will not be required. If it’s an even smaller tear, Harvey can go nuts with rehab, therapies and likely be ready for Opening Day, and maybe even strengthen himself — like Halladay — to avoid elbow surgery entirely.
If it’s the worst case scenario, the choice is obvious: surgery. However, if it’s the middle range, where surgery is recommended, but not required — like Adam Wainwright — the real, difficult decision will need to be made: to have surgery, miss a year and come back later, or pitch now, punt on surgery and hope for the best.
The buzz from Citi Field seems to be that — given the timeline and how the tear evolved — no one expects to learn of a devastating tear. It’s likely to be one of the “better” two options, but no one will know until Harvey’s next doctor visit, which will likely be a couple of weeks from now.