Matt Harvey intends to pick up a baseball Feb. 22 for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in October.
"They said I should be able to start throwing four months after the surgery, and that's Feb. 22," Harvey told the New York Post. "And I haven't had any setbacks. I can't wait. Even if it's 10 feet, I just want to pick up a ball. As if right now, I don't see why I wouldn't be able to do that."
He said Friday on WFAN radio that "things are going really smoothly right now."
Harvey is expected to arrive in Port St. Lucie, Fla., with other pitchers by the Feb. 15 report date. He said on WFAN that it will be tough during spring training to see his teammates preparing while he knows he can't pitch anytime soon. Harvey hopes to stay with the team during the season, if possible, as it will help him study hitters even while sidelined.
He still wants to pitch this season -- even though it is highly unlikely, given a typical 12-month recovery time from Tommy John surgery and no logical reason to rush. Harvey said it has been tough this offseason not being able to throw a baseball.
"I completely agree that I shouldn't come back too soon," Harvey told the Post. "I haven't touched a baseball yet, so I don't know how things are going to go once that happens. But if things are still progressing and it shows I'm ready to go and I get cleared, I want to be able to play."
Harvey told WFAN his comeback will depend on how he feels and how things are progressing. He added that if there's a 12-month recovery process, he wants to try to beat it.
"I think for me it would be important to be out there," Harvey said, "and whether I throw a couple innings in September or not and then have a normal offseason where I can go in and know I got some hitters out, struck a few guys out, and get back out there."
Information from ESPNNewYork.com contributor Matt Ehalt was used in this report.