Scott Boras pleased with Matt Harvey's rehab progress

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Matt Harvey's comeback from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery is proceeding as planned and he expects to be ready by the start of the New York Mets' spring training camp in February, agent Scott Boras said Wednesday.

"I just saw him in New York,'' Boras told reporters at the MLB general managers meetings in Scottsdale. "He's throwing free and easy. He's strong. He's had a great deal of time to work out and focus on his body and strength. We expect him to come back and be the Matt Harvey of old.''

Harvey, 27, posted a 4-10 record with a 4.86 ERA before undergoing season-ending surgery in July. Dr. Robert Thompson, a vascular surgeon who specializes in thoracic outlet syndrome, removed a rib to relieve pressure on an entrapped nerve between Harvey's neck and shoulder.

Harvey, New York's first-round pick in the 2010 MLB first-year player draft, went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA in 2013 to make the All-Star team and finish fourth in the National League Cy Young Award race. But he missed the entire 2014 season because of Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Boras said the thoracic outlet syndrome likely contributed to Harvey's lack of command with his pitches starting in spring training.

"I don't think there's any question,'' Boras said. "I'm not sure he could identify what the issue was. But as the season went on, he complained that the command of his pitches was not nearly the same. As this got more pronounced, he started feeling a tingling in his fingers and that really gave us the clue to send him to Dr. Thompson.

"Now that he has the feeling in his fingers, he has the ability to stretch out, lengthen out and get the ball off his fingertips and have the feeling he normally has to command the fastball.''

Harvey is one of several young Mets pitchers who will be returning from injury in 2017. Jacob deGrom underwent surgery to repair the ulnar nerve in his right elbow in September, while Steven Matz had bone spurs removed from his left elbow before the end of the season. Staff ace Noah Syndergaard and Bartolo Colon, who is now a free agent, were the only New York pitchers to start 30 games in 2016.
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