Matt Harvey cleared to toss ball

Updated: February 20, 2014, 11:18 AM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- New York Mets right-hander Matt Harvey has been cleared to begin tossing a baseball, the ace told ESPNNewYork.com.

He met with team doctor David Altchek at the Mets' spring training complex Wednesday before the decision was made.

[+] EnlargeMatt Harvey
Adam Rubin Matt Harvey, pictured here with his arm around Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen on Thursday, was cleared to toss a baseball after having Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22.

Harvey, 24, is uncertain which day he will begin a throwing program, but it will be in the next few days. He underwent Tommy John surgery Oct. 22 and had been hopeful of beginning to toss a baseball near the four-month anniversary.

Dr. James Andrews performed the procedure.

"[Altchek] said everything was fine and basically that I can start throwing," Harvey said. "So I don't know exactly which date that is, but in the next couple of days. That was obviously good news for me.

"Since it is four months out, the process is going to be slow. I have to not push things. He just wanted to make sure I knew that and I was clear with that. Obviously we're not going to push things early. But, for me, being able to wear my glove and pick up a ball again is a good sign."

Harvey planned to go through parts of Thursday's outdoor workout with fellow pitchers and catchers for the first time this spring training, after remaining confined to the clubhouse in the early days of camp.

Teammate Jeremy Hefner -- who underwent Tommy John surgery Aug. 28, nearly two full months before Harvey -- began his throwing program Monday. Hefner's first session involved making 20 throws at 60 feet.

Harvey is unsure what his initial throwing script will entail.

"I think it's pretty similar," said Harvey, who hopes to spend much of his rehab time in New York, where he lives, rather than at the team's Florida complex. "But he's six months out and I'm four months out, so I guess we'll see in the next couple of days."

Harvey is not yet fully resigned to missing the entire 2014 season, but he sounded more realistic about that being likely during a spring training news conference Monday.

"I'd always love to pitch and get back out there, but I don't make those decisions," Harvey said. "I can only stay with the doctors and prepare to the best of my ability. If things can work out quicker than normal, then we'll see. But I can't make that call. ... I haven't really talked to them in depth about that. I know they don't want me to push, and I'm definitely not going to force things to happen earlier. If they happen to come quicker, then that's where we're going to go."

Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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