Matt Harvey raves about progress rehabbing elbow

Matt Harvey speaks during a news conference announcing

Matt Harvey speaks during a news conference announcing that he has been diagnosed with a partially torn ligament before a game between the Mets and Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. (Aug. 26, 2013) (Credit: AP)

See you in September? That's the tune Matt Harvey might have been humming Thursday while dreaming about a potential return date to the Mets.

Harvey, in a story posted on MLB.com, said his rehab from Tommy John surgery in October is going "great" and that he would like to return before the end of the 2014 season -- though he doesn't know if that's going to happen.

"I'd like [to pitch] right now," Harvey said before accepting an award at the Boston baseball writers' dinner. "That's not possible. I'd like to shoot for being out there in September. Obviously, I don't make those decisions. I can only prepare to the best of my ability and make sure I'm in good strength and flexibility, and when they do let me go, I'm good to go."

Harvey, who is from New London, Conn., was given the New England Player of the Year award. The 24-year-old went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA in 26 starts for the Mets.

His injury cast a pall on the entire organization, but Harvey is upbeat about his rehab.

"It's great," he said. "I think I'm just over three months out, and I can't believe it's gone by so fast. Everything is going well. I haven't had the slightest setback. I'm itching to get back out and pick up a baseball again. Whatever the doc says, I've got to follow those rules."

Harvey hasn't picked up a ball yet and won't for some time.

"I think I get to start the plyometrics pretty soon, which would be actually kind of throwing something, but in a training room, which is exciting," Harvey said. "Obviously, this has been the longest time I haven't been able to throw anything."

Before reporting to spring training next month, Harvey plans to attend Sunday's Rangers-Devils outdoor game at Yankee Stadium, according to a post on his verified Twitter account. Harvey is a big Rangers fan and a friend of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

"Looks like they won't have trouble freezing the ice for Sunday's @NYRangers game at Yankee Stadium," Harvey wrote. "High of 20! See you there."

But Harvey's mind is still on the Mets. Even though he won't be there at the start, and might not be on the mound at all in 2014, he said he is looking forward to the season with the Mets' new acquisitions.

"I think that was one of the first things I said when we signed [Curtis] Granderson: 'Man, I wish I was going to be in the locker room with him and having him be in the lineup,' " Harvey told MLB.com. "But it will be fun to watch. I'm definitely looking forward to spring training and seeing everybody bond and mesh together, and I'm excited to see [Travis] d'Arnaud and [Zack] Wheeler and younger guys that will step in and have a lot more impact this year. I think it's going to be really fun to watch, and I'm looking forward to getting back and joining all those guys."

Mets re-sign Dice-K. The Mets said they have re-signed righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Matsuzaka, 33, went 3-3 with a 4.42 ERA in seven late-season starts with the Mets in 2013. He will compete with Long Beach product John Lannan and others for the fifth spot in the rotation.

Interest in Rodney. A source said the Mets have talked with the agent for free agent Fernando Rodney and other relievers but added that there is "nothing hot" right now. Rodney, 36, saved 37 games for Tampa Bay in 2013. The Rays on Thursday signed closer Grant Balfour, who turned down a comparable offer from the Mets.

The Mets are looking for bullpen insurance with last year's closer, Bobby Parnell, returning from neck surgery.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

MLB video

advertisement | advertise on newsday