Will Carroll has been writing about sports injuries for 12 years, appearing in SI.com and ESPN.com. He now writes for Bleacher Report, where today he answered every question you probably have about Matt Harvey.
In Carroll’s opinion…
- It’s worth it for Harvey to wait, possibly until December, to have the surgery
- Harvey was not showing signs of fatigue, according to advanced research on PitchFX
- It’s very hard to call anything the Mets did with Harvey overuse
- The team did a reasonable job of trying to keep their ace healthy
- The Brewers and Orioles are the only teams that spend money to do biomechanical evaluations on all their pitchers
- If he is able to avoid surgery, he will be ready for spring training
- If he is forced to have Tommy John surgery, he will miss a minimum of 10 months and likely would miss the entire 2014 season
- Harvey’s doctor, Dr. Altchek, is one of the top surgeons performing Tommy John today
In the end, assuming Harvey has surgery, and given the standard timeline, Carroll expects Harvey to pitch again at nine months and be back in a major league rotation in a year.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I’ve heard Altchek and the team remain hopeful surgery can be avoided or delayed, but that will only truly be determined at Harvey’s next exam, at which point Harvey and his agent, Scott Boras, can decide what road to take. It’s worth noting that Zack Greinke, Adam Wainwright and Ervin Santana were in similar situations and chose not to have surgery, instead they went all-in on an alternative therapy plan, which I expect Harvey to entertain. Of course, in most cases, like Wainwright, the pitcher ended up having the surgery anyway, but not until after he got in a few successful years in the big leagues.
The question for Harvey will be, assuming surgery is recommended: Does he get the surgery now and miss his entire second full season, and risk never being the same again? Or, does he punt, cross his fingers, get in three or four big years, sign a big contract and hope it doesn’t blow up in his face? For the Mets, it’s the difference between having Harvey now or later, but it’s ultimately going to be his choice to make.
To read more from Carroll, whose post is titled Everything You Need to Know About Matt Harvey’s Elbow Injury and Recovery, click here.