Mets' Matt Harvey set to make return from Tommy John surgery
The New York Mets' ace is set to pitch in his first game in 18 months and the outing will be anything but the usual March start.
Harvey's All-Star season was cut short after a loss to the Tigers on Aug. 24, 2013, when it was discovered he had a tear in an elbow ligament. He had surgery on Oct. 22 and has been waiting for this day ever since then.
Still, the big right-hander knows this is just the first sept toward a possible opening-day start at Washington on April 6.
''It's March 6, so we can't put too much emphasis on the day other than it being 18-plus months since I've done something like that,'' Harvey said. ''It's still a preparation game and still have a lot of time to keep moving forward.''
Harvey went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA and started for the NL in the 2013 All-Star Game, played at the Mets' Citi Field.
Other star pitchers are excited to see him back.
David Price, Detroit's scheduled starter against the Mets, tweeted a congratulatory message to Harvey.
''He's excited that we will be throwing, and I appreciate his support and excitement to have me back out there,'' Harvey said. ''It's nice and much appreciated that people are recognizing that I'm coming back.
Harvey has had no restrictions this spring. He's expected to throw no more than two innings and the Mets coaching staff will be keeping close watch to make sure the 25-year-old doesn't try to do too much.
''That competitive nature that he has, all of a sudden it's going to be different and he's going to try to reign himself back, believe me,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said. ''But it's going to be hard for him because he's going to be so excited to be out there. You got the Tigers - a very good team - and David Price on the other side of the field. You don't think (Harvey's) going to be amped up? We'll do the best we can to make sure he understands what the process is.
''But we're all anxious to see him get back out there,'' Collins said.