Harvey could pitch in AFL while rehabbing elbow

Harvey could pitch in AFL while rehabbing elbow

CINCINNATI -- Matt Harvey may pitch in Arizona Fall League games as he attempts to rehab from a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Monday.

Harvey has not begun throwing in his attempt to avoid Tommy John surgery, which he announced last week. But once he does so, Alderson wants to see Harvey pitch at a "near-competitive level pain-free, and perhaps on more than one occasion" before signing off on a continued course of rehab. Arizona Fall League games would qualify, the GM said, provided the Mets face no logistical hurdles in placing him on their AFL roster.

Though fall league roster spots are typically reserved for Minor Leaguers, Alderson said he does not expect any issues if the Mets decide to place Harvey there.

The team's ultimate goal is to know by mid-November whether Harvey can avoid surgery, or if he will need to undergo a Tommy John operation that would sideline him for all of 2014.

"The strong desire is that we will finish this process within the six- to eight-week time frame," Alderson said. "When it actually starts is a little bit unclear. We're in the six- to eight-week window, but when he actually starts throwing is a little bit unclear."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.