Mets' Matt Harvey realizes he's got to slow down his rehabilitation

Matt Harvey talks to the media about his Matt Harvey talks to the media about his diagnosis of a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). (Aug. 26, 2013) Photo Credit: Getty

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In a radio interview conducted during Wednesday night's game against the Nationals, Matt Harvey said that he has reassessed the pace of his rehab, especially in the aftermath of the recent setback endured by teammate Jeremy Hefner in his own recovery from Tommy John surgery.

However, Harvey told ESPN Radio that the "tough part" of a slower rehab schedule is he feels physically prepared to move forward. By Harvey's own estimation, he is throwing pitches in the low to mid 90s "with pretty much no effort," and feels "better than I've ever felt."

Several times, Harvey made mention of the importance of health, and that rehab remains a process. "Once you look at a situation like Jeremy's, he felt great the whole time," Harvey said. "And once he started facing some hitters, that's when he started having some trouble."

The Mets have considered not allowing their ace to pitch in games until spring training. Harvey continues to rehab at the team's complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida, where he had a 27-pitch bullpen session Wednesday.

While discussing the potential strength of the Mets' rotation, Harvey briefly mentioned his desire to return this season, an idea that the Mets have dismissed.

"I think that's part of the reason that I want to come back so bad this year," he said. "To start that off and to finish this year on high note with everybody back and healthy, and really going into the offseason with a starting staff that people will be excited about."

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Manager Terry Collins believes that Harvey will be receptive to slowing his rehab even further. "Matt understands it. He gets it," Collins said. "The issue with Matt is everything he does is max effort. So, even if you're going to slow him down from the pace of 'hey, get him ready to pitch in the game' he's got to back off the effort side, too."

Harvey was scheduled to speak Wednesday with Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen about exercising caution moving forward. Bobby Parnell, who also underwent Tommy John surgery, was also scheduled to be in on the call.

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