Matt Harvey’s New York Mets were already staring up at Stephen Strasburg’s Washington Nationals in the NL East Standings before an update on the health of their injury-prone ace dropped. The uphill climb got steeper Friday when the Mets announced that Harvey’s trip to the DL would be a permanent one and that the Mets ace would undergo season-ending surgery to deal with thoracic outlet syndrome. TOS isn’t a condition as ingrained into the baseball zeitgeist as Tommy John, but it has felled a slew of pitchers.

Harvey’s ailment stems from the muscles in his neck and shoulder which are compressing a nerve in his right pitching shoulder. TPD has resulted in varying degrees of numbness along his arm and fingers. To alleviate the pressure, Dr. Robert Thompson in St. Louis will remove one of Harvey’s ribs.

Harvey fought through injury for much of 2016, but a 4-10 record, 4.6 ERA and his 7.4 strikeouts per 9 innings were well below his 9.5 career rate. There were concerns in 2015 about how exceeding his 185-inning limit by nearly 30 frames in 2015 would affect his long-term health.

Harvey beat the odds in returning to from Tommy John surgery, but recovery from TOS is no sure thing either.  Nobody would be more relieved than Harvey (and Strasburg’s) agent Scott Boras. As you’d expect, he’s optimistic about Harvey’s long-term prognosis.

“I remember Kenny Rogers had it done,” Boras explained recently. “A good example is the Cardinals[Jaime] Garcia had it done recently. So we’ve had very good results because basically the pitchers can feel their fingertips and the baseball, so they can get their command back. At the extension, at the release point, you have the feeling back that you didn’t have before. So it really affects where the ball is located.”

Kenny Rogers pitched for seven more seasons after developing TOS in 2001, winning 7 more games. Most recently, Josh Beckett successful rebounded from going under the knife at the age of 33 to remove a rib in 2013.

Conversely, Former Cy Young award winner Chris Carpenter’s post-surgery symptoms are the worst possible outcome. The 38-year-old Carpenter retired a year after his surgery due to persisting shoulder issues. While recovery is a crapshoot, especially after Tommy John surgery almost three years ago, Harvey has youth on his side. At the age of 27, one hopes this is the last time Harvey deals with a significant injury in his throwing arm.

Meanwhile, the Mets will continue their pursuit of a second-consecutive World Series berth with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Bartolo Colon, Steven Matz leading the staff and await Zach Wheeler’s return from Tommy John surgery.