NEW YORK — Matt Harvey has a partially torn ligament in his right elbow, a potentially devastating injury for the pitcher who had given the foundering Mets a big reason to be hopeful about their future.
For now, Harvey and the Mets hope he will be able to avoid reconstructive surgery on the ulnar collateral ligament. A full prognosis will be made when swelling in the elbow goes down in about two weeks.
"It was tough. Obviously it was the last thing I was expecting when I went (Monday) morning," Harvey, 24, said Monday. "I am going to do everything I can to avoid surgery."
The NL's All-Star Game starter on his home field in July, Harvey has felt forearm tenderness for some time but could not pinpoint when it began. The discomfort increased during Saturday's start against the Tigers, when he allowed a career-high 13 hits.
Harvey admitted he was tired against the Tigers, the 26th start of his first full season in the major leagues, and manager Terry Collins said Harvey's pitches weren't as crisp, a sign of fatigue.
But Collins didn't know Harvey had any forearm issues until Sunday, and the ace went for an MRI exam at the Hospital for Special Surgery a day later.
"Nothing is shooting in my elbow at all. That's not the issue," Harvey said. "When I heard the news, I was pretty shocked. I'm still very optimistic."
Harvey is 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA and has a league-leading 191 strikeouts in 1781/3 innings.
ATHLETICS: RHP Bartolo Colon, out since Aug. 13 with a right groin strain, threw 38 pitches in a bullpen session and could return to the rotation Thursday. … RF Josh Reddick went on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right wrist. 1B Daric Barton was called up from Triple-A Sacramento.
BRAVES: 2B Dan Uggla made a rehab start for Triple-A Gwinnett as he tries to come back from corrective eye surgery this month.
MARINERS: OF Franklin Gutierrez, on the disabled list since June 25 with a strained right hamstring, was activated. … RHP Aaron Harang was designated for assignment.
MARLINS: 1B Casey Kotchman, a Seminole High product and former Ray, was released.