PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- At first blush, Terry Collins said, the news on Matt Harvey sent "shivers through your skin." The Mets feared the worst, but have since exhaled: Harvey is fine, and will start on Opening Night after all.
Shortly after scratching him from his final spring start (Tuesday's 1-0 loss to the Marlins), Mets doctors diagnosed Harvey with a blood clot in his bladder, which he passed late Monday without issue. Harvey returned to Mets camp one day later with an eye toward imminently resuming baseball activities.
"Everything feels great," Harvey said. "I feel relieved that everything's clear and good to go."
Harvey first felt discomfort while urinating Sunday, with increased pain during the night. He reported his symptoms to the team's training staff the following morning, passing the blood clot later that day. When Harvey underwent further testing Tuesday, everything came back clear.
"I didn't really know what was going on," Harvey said. "I was having trouble using the restroom, and obviously anytime there's discoloration in your urine, it's not a great feeling. So I didn't know what was going on with my stomach. But we had some tests yesterday, and everything's fine now."
The issue, Harvey said, stemmed from his habit of holding in his urine too long, which caused an infection in his bladder. He plans to "re-train" himself to take more frequent bathroom breaks in the future.
Harvey also scolded those who speculated on his condition after the Mets first leaked word that something was afoot on Monday afternoon.
"People didn't know what was going on, so reading some pretty nasty things about what it might be isn't very nice," Harvey said. "But I'm glad we figured it out."
Because the Mets scratched him from what would have been his final Grapefruit League tuneup Tuesday, Harvey will start Wednesday's game against the Nationals instead of Noah Syndergaard, pitching two innings in advance of Opening Night. Syndergaard will then assume his normal workload in relief.
From there, it will be on to Kansas City, which comes as significant relief for a Mets team that would have scrambled to make contingency plans had Harvey been unable to pitch. As the rotation is set, Harvey will open the Mets' season on Sunday, followed by Syndergaard in Game 2 and Jacob deGrom for the home opener. Both Bartolo Colon and Steven Matz will be available out of the bullpen in Kansas City.
"Fortunately," Collins said, "it worked out all right. He's got medical clearance to do whatever he has to do, and he'll be ready to go."