Harvey underwent Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22 after deliberating for a couple of months. The typical recovery time is 12 months. And the Mets are sure to be conservative with him, especially since he is under the team's control through the 2018 season.
"When you see stories of guys coming back in 10 months, I'm going to think, 'Hey, I can come back in nine,'" Harvey told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday at an offseason event in Boston. "Unfortunately, I don't make those decisions. I can't throw the uniform on and go back on the mound without the permission of higher-ups.
"That's my personality -- I always want to be out there. Like I've said all along, I'm not a doctor, so I don't have those answers. But of course I want to get back on the mound."
Harvey is expected to be in spring training camp in Port St. Lucie, Fla., by the time Mets pitchers and catchers officially report on Feb. 15, even though he is unlikely to begin tossing a baseball until later that month.
"It's frustrating knowing I'm not going to spring training and going to pitch, but going forward, you look at some of the deals that have been made -- financially, performance-wise -- it was the best decision," Harvey told the newspaper about undergoing the surgery after initially wanting to avoid it. "Going forward, having a long career, it's a decision I'm happy I've made."
Quoting his rehab coordinator at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, Harvey added: "He says, 'I don't really know what to do. You're just moving on so quickly that we sometimes have to pump the brakes.' We can't go full throttle. But everything feels so good that it's becoming a little boring, that I'm ready to go and get ready for spring training."