Matt Harvey plans to be back on the mound for Opening Day next season, thereby avoiding Tommy John surgery, he said on Twitter Tuesday. "Thank you everyone for the kind words and support," Harvey wrote on his verified account. "I may be done this year, but I will be back next year for April 1."

The last nugget came as news to the Mets, who have acknowledged the strong possibility that Harvey's torn UCL could have him headed for Tommy John surgery.

General manager Sandy Alderson on Monday described Harvey's injury as "progressive," acknowledging that there will always be a question of how long the partially torn ligament will hold up before needing surgery.

"If that's his tweet, that's his tweet," Alderson told reporters.

Tommy John surgery has a recovery time of about a year.


advertisement | advertise on newsday

Trainer's room

David Wright, on the disabled list since Aug. 3 with a strained right hamstring, will go to Port St. Lucie Thursday and will begin his baseball-related rehab there by tracking pitches from live pitchers, manager Terry Collins said. Wright could start playing in minor-league rehab games as early as Sunday, Collins said.

Righthander Jeremy Hefner will undergo Tommy John surgery today. Alderson said it will be performed by Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery.


Centerfield auditions

Outfield prospect Matt den Dekker, who took Marlon Byrd's roster spot, will get some playing time in centerfield in the coming weeks. Collins lauded Juan Lagares' defensive play in center, but said the Mets owe themselves the chance to see what den Dekker can do. "We have to see it," Collins said.

Den Dekker, 26, was hitting .296 with eight doubles, four triples and six homers in 53 games for Triple-A Las Vegas.