Hefner to meet with Dr. Andrews

NEW YORK -- Mets starter Jeremy Hefner (elbow) confirmed he will get a second opinion on his pitching elbow after Tommy John surgery was recommended.

Hefner, who has a partial tear of his MCL and bone spurs in his right elbow, will meet with Dr. James Andrews next Monday, but expects he will have to undergo Tommy John surgery.

"I kind of knew it was coming, and I had some time to process it, too, before they told me," Hefner said. "I'll see what the second doctor says and go from there."

Hefner said he hadn't been as forthright about the pain in his elbow because he wanted to pitch and help the Mets. But once he started struggling, and the pain kept flaring up, he informed the team of the severity of the issue. Hefner believes that pitching through the injury probably worsened his condition.

After entering the All-Star break with league's best ERA dating back to June 4, Hefner went 0-2 with a 9.13 ERA in five starts after the All-Star break. The Mets originally demoted Hefner to Triple-A, but he landed on the disabled list after an examination showed the tear. He's 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA.

"I'm disappointed. But I did have a good year, except for the last few starts," Hefner said. "I'll always look back to that, especially when I'm going through my rehab and stuff. I'll revert back to those times, the good times in June and stuff, and look forward to next year and hopefully come back stronger."

Hefner said the alternative option to surgery would be to take off the rest of this year and rehab, but that leaves open the possibility that the partial tear could turn into a full tear. He realizes that the surgery could knock him out through the 2014 season, as the rehab process takes approximately a year, but he's aiming to return next season if he does indeed undergo the surgery.

"I have some good friends that have had it, and some have come back really quick; nine months, 10 months, 11 months. And some guys it took 14, 15 months. Hopefully I'm not in that category because that completely wipes me out for next year," Hefner said. "Hopefully 10, 11 months I can come back. It's all about how your arm rebounds. I look at it as another challenge in my career and hopefully I can come back stronger from it."