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Mets' Matt Harvey cleared to begin throwing again

Matt Harvey delivers a pitch during a game

Matt Harvey delivers a pitch during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. (July 21, 2013) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Matt Harvey has been given clearance to begin a throwing program, pitching coach Dan Warthen said Thursday.

The Mets righthander is expected to start playing catch in the next few days, though he still faces a long road back after undergoing Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22. Harvey, 24, has only an outside chance of returning near the end of the season.

The pitcher is slated to spend most of the year rehabbing both in New York and at the team's complex in Port St. Lucie.

Harvey declined to comment, as did Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, who has played down talk about the pitcher's rehab throughout camp.

Rules review

Manager Terry Collins attended a meeting in Jupiter, Fla., Thursday to discuss new rules governing instant replay and catchers' collisions at home plate. Former managers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa presided over the meetings to go over the rules changes, which have yet to be finalized.

"I know they've already tweaked the challenge stuff a little bit," Collins said.

According to Collins, managers were told to expect possible tweaks in the rules leading up to Opening Day.

Extra bases

Jeurys Familia will have a strong chance to make the bullpen, according to Collins, who said the righthander has good enough stuff to take on a late-inning role . . . Despite a need to upgrade at shortstop, a source said the Mets are not pursuing Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz, who is expected to sign a big-league deal . . . Bobby Parnell reported no issues as he continues his throwing program. He threw 30 pitches during a session on Tuesday . . . Wilfredo Tovar and Omar Quintanilla reported to camp on the official reporting day for position players.

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