NEW YORK -- There was a time, Roy Halladay remembers, that he was told he would probably need Tommy John surgery.
"That was eight years ago," Halladay said Wednesday. "I've never had a forearm issue since."
Eight years and six top-five Cy Young finishes ago. And while Halladay has had other health issues to deal with over the last two years, he never has had that elbow surgery.
There's no guarantee that what was true with Halladay will also be true for Matt Harvey. But the point Halladay was making, and the point he made in a conversation with Harvey this week, is that there may still be hope for the Mets phenom to avoid surgery, too.
"From him explaining the soreness he felt, it's very similar to what I felt," Halladay said. "I'm no doctor, but it just sounded similar."
The Mets' expectation has been that Harvey will likely need Tommy John surgery, which would cost him most or all of next season (and that remains their expectation). But they've also said that the diagnosis can't be confirmed until the inflammation goes down and a clearer MRI can give a better picture of his elbow.
Halladay said he went through the same process, and that after the second MRI, Dr. James Andrews told him he had a pronator flexor issue that he could deal with in the short term by strengthening the muscles around it, and also the muscles in his shoulder. He said it wasn't that he chose not to have surgery, but that after the second exam immediate surgery wasn't recommended.
He worked through the winter, and said he was able to go through a regular spring training the next year.
"Dr. Andrews told me that at some point, they felt they'd have to go in and repair it," Halladay said.
So far, they haven't.
There's no real way to know yet if the same could happen with Harvey, or if indeed Harvey's condition is exactly the same as what Halladay had. Harvey and the Mets can only hope it is.