Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 4/15/15

Once again Matt Harvey said he's ready to take the next big step in his rehab and get onto the mound this season — during a game.The Mets ace — who has been cleared begin throwing from a mound in Port St. Lucie next week for the first time since rehabbing from Tommy John surgery last October, wants a real game stint, according to the N.Y. Post.It's a song and dance the Mets have heard from Matt Harvey before. But this time, it seems like the team's pitching headliner only wants to tap a couple of steps and hum a few bars.“Even if it was one inning out of the bullpen, I would be happy,” Harvey said.Harvey hasn't let go of his dream of throwing in 2014, even after general manager Sandy Alderson put the kibosh on that notion last month.The right-hander said there are tentative plans for him to pitch in the Mets’ instructional league in September and then appear in the Arizona Fall League.“If I’m going to pitch in Arizona, what difference does it make if I pitch there or pitch here [for the Mets]?” Harvey said.But Alderson is likely to play it cautious with the impatient Harvey — who underwent the ligament replacement surgery on Oct. 22 of last year. Normal recovery is 10-14 months before a pitcher returns to the major leagues.“I’m dying,” Harvey said. “When I start ramping things up and feeling I can throw full throttle and pump it up to mid-90s [mph], which I believe I am doing right now, it’s definitely going to be hard.”Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, recently said research on the subject points to waiting until 14-16 months after the surgery for optimal recovery.The Mets backed off Harvey from his rehab in early June, worried that he was moving too quickly in the process. Alderson later left the open a crack, saying the earliest Harvey could return is Sept. 22 — the 11-month anniversary of his surgery. The Mets conclude the season on Sept. 28.Harvey has made no apology for his eagerness to return this season — even if the Mets have almost no chance of making the playoffs.“I miss being out there,” he said. “That’s the fun part. It’s tough to talk about.”

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