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Mets' Matt Harvey to see Dr. James Andrews for second opinion on Monday

Matt Harvey speaks with reporters while on a

Matt Harvey speaks with reporters while on a visit to Engine 54, Ladder 4 and Battalion 9 to have lunch with the firefighters. (Sept. 10, 2013) Credit: Linda Rosier

Mets All-Star righthander Matt Harvey continues to hold out hope that he can avoid elbow surgery that would wipe out his entire 2014 season.

"Everything feels fine," said Harvey, who has a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. "My arm feels great. I'm still very optimistic about everything. But I know I'm not a doctor so we'll see what happens."

On Monday, Harvey will seek a second opinion from noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews, though the pitcher said Tuesday that he has yet to undergo a follow-up MRI exam with team doctors as was originally planned.

"I'm going to get as many opinions as I can," said Harvey, whose first full season in the big leagues was cut short by the injury. "And which way I decide to go, I'm going to go 150 percent."

Typically, Tommy John surgery requires around a 12-month rehab. But pitchers such as Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright have pitched with partial ligament tears, delaying surgery for years. Harvey has even consulted with Phillies righthander Roy Halladay about avoiding surgery.

"Everybody's different so you never know," said Harvey, who believes it's important to weigh the risk of surgery.

Two days after he stopped throwing, Harvey said he felt improvement in his arm, a reason for his optimism regarding an alternative to surgery. Still, Harvey intends to take his time in making a decision, a luxury he's afforded given the timing of the injury.

He could theoretically wait a month or two to undergo surgery, which carries a 12-month rehab, and he'd still be ready for spring training 2015. If he were to undergo surgery soon, he might have an outside chance of returning by September 2014.

"Everything feels great and I still feel very optimistic," Harvey said. "Everybody doesn't necessarily need surgery."

Harvey, who went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA, does not expect to make a decision on Monday after his visit with Andrews. He last pitched Aug. 24 against the Tigers.

"I don't think Matt or the organization wants him to lose any more time than he has to," Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said. "If it's got to be a year and that's what it ends up being, we're prepared for that, we'll deal with it. I don't think anyone wants it to be longer than that."

Harvey and Wilpon joined David Wright and Zack Wheeler Tuesday on a visit to a New York firehouse on the eve of the Sept. 11 anniversary.

The four visited Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 in midtown Manhattan, which lost all of its members during the terror attack on the World Trade Center.

Such visits have become a staple of the organization's remembrance of Sept. 11, though it was the first for both Wheeler and Harvey.

"You still to this day remember exactly where you were when that incident happened," said Harvey, who was a middle school student at the time of the attacks. "It was a scary time. We didn't know what was going on. We were so young."


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