Really, really bad news broke for the Mets on Monday afternoon when it was reported that Matt Harvey has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow. This type of injury often leads to Tommy John surgery, but the Mets announced today that surgery was not a definite thing right now.
"It's not good news, obviously," said general manager Sandy Alderson, "Over the next two or three weeks, the situation with the overall prognosis and ultimate treatment will be determined."
Harvey himself is adamant that he will do whatever it takes to avoid having the surgery.
"I'm going to do everything I can so I don't have to get surgery," he said before admitting, "If the pain continues or gets worse, something will have to get done."
It was first reported this morning that Harvey was experiencing forearm tightness and had gone to the Hospital for Special Surgery to get an MRI. Mets fans weren't the only one who were shocked that there was something wrong with Harvey's arm.
"This was a surprise to all of us, especially Matt himself," explained Alderson, "He has not had any elbow pain. Forearm pain can foretell problems with the elbow, but in this particular circumstance there had been no indications of that."
"Obviously it was the last thing I was expecting when I went in this morning," said Harvey regarding the injury. There was no specific point at which he felt something go wrong, but Harvey did say that he had been experiencing forearm tightness for about a month and that he felt it get worse after his last start versus Detroit on Saturday.
"I was hoping it was just tendinitis or just some stiffness or swelling in the muscle area, and obviously it turned out to be something else. That was definitely a shock," said Harvey about his MRI exam, "It's tough to kind of pinpoint the exact time [in which the injury occurred]. I didn't feel a snap or a pop, no tingling or anything like that."
If the Mets and Harvey do decide to go through with Tommy John surgery, he will be out of action for about a year. Rehabbing the injury is still an option, but if it fails and Harvey has to have the operation anyway, that's a lot of time wasted.
"These injuries are often progressive," said Alderson, "It is conceivable that no surgery will be necessary. It is conceivable that no surgery will be necessary at this time, but will be necessary at some point down the road. All of that has to be taken into account."