Initially he attempted rehabbing his torn ulnar collateral ligament but reluctantly opted for the procedure as it is, on the whole, much more effective. As soon as Harvey was out of surgery he was talking about returning at somepoint during the 2014 season.
The Mets wanted Harvey to rehab at their Florida facility but Harvey argued into a compromise with Mets executives in which he would be in New York with the team during homestands and in Florida while they were away on road trips. That compromise was only the beginning of Harvey’s quest back to the mound.
Harvey had a couple of other run-ins with Mets executives when he’d tell anyone, even on radio and tv interviews, that he wanted to pitch in 2014. He didn’t care if it was just one inning out of the bullpen, the 25-year-old right hander just wanted to pitch last season.
At one point in early August 2014, when Harvey was allowed to throw off the mound for the first time since his surgery, he even held out hope that he might be able to pitch in the playoffs, even though the Mets were basically out of contention with a sub-.500 record.
— Jon Santucci (@JonSantucci) August 5, 2014
Shortly after that first session on the mound Harvey was told that his pitching program was being shut down but that he may have an opportunity to pitch in the Arizona Fall League, which he obviously wanted to do but never did.
It’s been a full 18 months since Harvey had his surgery. The usual recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-18 months but the Mets wanted to be overly cautious with their ace who, prior to having surgery, was the starter for the National League in the 2013 All-Star game.
So after what’s been a long year and a half for the hard-headed Harvey, who was continually trying to speed up his recovery, he finally hit a big milestone on Friday. Harvey took the mound and threw to live batters for the first time.