The Mets received the worst possible news Monday afternoon when Matt Harvey visited the Hospital for Special Surgery.
The ace and All-Star Game starter has suffered a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right, pitching elbow. He will be out indefinitely and has been immediately placed on the disabled list.
“I wouldn't expect him to pitch for the rest of the season,” general manager Sandy Alderson said.
The Mets are not committed to Harvey getting Tommy John surgery yet, as they will wait for the swelling to go down before proceeding.
“It's tough,” Harvey said. “It's the last thing I expected when I went in [to get an MRI] this morning.
“I felt it was something I could pitch through. It had been some time. This weekend it had been more discomforting than other starts.”
Harvey faced Max Scherzer, the opposing starter in the All-Star Game, in a ballyhooed faceoff on Saturday. Harvey allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings and took the loss.
“Nothing is shooting in my elbow,” Harvey said. “When I heard the news I was pretty shocked. [I am] going to do everything I can not to get surgery. ... If the pain continues or gets worse, then something has to be done.”
Harvey exploded on the scene last year when he was brought up July 26 and pitched a 5 1/3-inning shutout against the Diamondbacks with 11 strikeouts. He finished the 2012 season with 3-5 record and 2.73 ERA in 10 starts.
He is 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA this season. He leads the majors with 191 strikeouts. He's made 26 starts this season and has thrown 178 1/3 innings, the most of his career. The Mets had limited Harvey coming up through the system and shut him down early last season after starting Aug. 24.
“These innings limits are not a guarantee of anything,” Alderson said. “There's no safe harbor here.”
It was just Sunday that manager Terry Collins spoke about limiting Harvey's innings for the remainder of the season. He described Harvey as “tired.”
“That’s what we’ve been trying to battle with the last two months,” Collins said. “You have a guy who is one of the best competitors I’ve ever been around, who thoroughly wants to pitch nine innings every night he is out there. And yet you have to take into consideration what’s in the best interest of the club, the team at the time and the organization down the road.”
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.