Matt Harvey Comments on Recovery from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Surgery

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2016

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 09: Matt Harvey #33 of the New York Mets looks on from the dugout during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field on August 9, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey watched his 2016 campaign come to an abrupt end when he was forced to undergo season-ending surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome, but the 2015 National League Comeback Player of the Year sounded optimistic regarding his return when he spoke to reporters on Wednesday. 

According to ESPN.com's Adam Rubin, the 27-year-old confirmed he's on the mend and feeling strong on the mound after the surgery "involved removing a rib so that muscles constricting a nerve that bridges the neck and shoulder had space to relax."

Specifically, Harvey confirmed he's no longer experiencing numbing sensations in his right throwing hand. 

"My hand was really cold all the time," he said, per Rubin. "I've got some warmth back and no more tingling. The ball is coming out really good right now, especially for December."

Harvey also expressed optimism regarding his ability to bounce back following a shaky statistical 2016 season precipitated by nerve issues. 

"I'd like to think so. Obviously I don't have a crystal ball," Harvey said, per Rubin. "The way things are feeling now, the way the body feels, I'm feeling great."

In 17 starts last season, Harvey went 4-10 with a career-worst 4.86 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. In fact, it marked the first time in Harvey's career that he posted an ERA above 3.00. 

Harvey, of course, is no stranger to rebounding following injury woes. 

The 2013 All-Star missed the entirety of the 2014 season after he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery, but he rebounded in 2015 by going 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 188 strikeouts and 37 walks over the course of 29 starts. 

Based on that precedent and the steady rate at which Harvey has seemingly recovered over the past five months, it won't be a surprise if he returns to the mound and assumes dominant form once again for a Mets team that will have its eyes on reclaiming the NL East crown.