The New York Mets received bad news on starting pitcher Jeremy Hefner the other day. Hefner suffered a forearm fracture and re-tore his ulnar collateral ligament, meaning he is facing down a second Tommy John surgery if he ever wants to pitch in the majors again. Hefner's plight is truly unfortunate, and it could impact how the Mets handle Matt Harvey's on going rehab.
The Mets will consider slowing Harvey's rehab down even more in light of the Hefner news, MetsBlog.com reports. Harvey was going through his rehab at an accelerated pace before being slowed down by the Mets in June. Harvey recently started throwing off a mound with the goal of pitching in a game in the instructional league by October. Given the loss of Hefner though, the Mets may try and be even more conservative with Harvey, preventing him from even doing that this season.
If the Mets do go extremely conservative with Harvey, it would fit in with what Harvey's agent, Scott Boras, recommends for recovering pitchers. Boras pointed to medical studies a few weeks ago that indicated pitchers are most effective after a Tommy John surgery with a 14-16 month rehab period as opposed to 11-12 months like most pitchers try to do. If the Mets slow Harvey down to that pace, he should be just fine for spring training in 2015 anyway.
While every pitcher and every rehab is different, the Mets and Harvey should at least have an open mind after Hefner's re-injury. Harvey won't be able to make an impact on the major league level anyway, so pushing the pace for an instructional league appearance may not be necessary. It will give Harvey peace of mind to get in game action before March, but caution could be a better path here.
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Tags: Baseball, Jeremy Hefner, Matt Harvey, MLB, New York, New York Mets