Matt Harvey says his 'arm feels unbelievable' and hopes to be back this season

Mets pitcher Matt Harvey looks on from the

Mets pitcher Matt Harvey looks on from the dugout against the St. Louis Cardinals in an MLB baseball game at Citi Field on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

While Matt Harvey's middle finger triggered a social media controversy, his rehabbing right elbow remains the primary concern for the Mets. And in that regard, the righthander reported Tuesday that his recovery from Tommy John surgery is going "really well."

"My arm feels unbelievable," said Harvey, who is now playing catch at 90 feet.

Harvey reaffirmed his desire to make his return before the end of the season, which would require him to be back before the typical one-year recovery following surgery.

But he also acknowledged the recent rash of pitchers suffering second elbow-ligament injuries. "Obviously, the biggest thing is maybe not coming back this year and being healthy, but being healthy for the next couple of years," Harvey said.

Tuesday marked the six-month anniversary of his elbow surgery. He's not expected to begin throwing off the mound until June. As far as evaluating his chances of pitching this season, Harvey said it's too early to make a determination.

"For any of that discussion, it's still a long ways away," said Harvey, who is splitting his rehab between New York and the team's complex in Florida.

Nevertheless, Harvey said rehab has progressed faster than he had expected.

"It's been a quick six months," Harvey said.

Extra bases

CF Juan Lagares has started running. But manager Terry Collins said there is still no timeline for his return. Lagares went on the disabled list last week with a strained hamstring . . . Collins has yet to determine who will pitch in save situations when Kyle Farnsworth is unavailable . . . Omar Quintanilla started in place of the slumping Ruben Tejada. But Collins insisted that Tejada will be in the lineup the next two games of the series against the Cardinals . . . Bobby Abreu flied out in his Mets debut, a pinch-hitting appearance in the ninth.

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