PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Matt Harvey says he understands the New York Mets' rationale in not starting him on opening day.

The Mets announced Monday that 41-year-old Bartolo Colon will start the April 6 opener at Washington and NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom will start the home opener April 13 against Philadelphia.

Harvey is returning from elbow ligament-replacement surgery that has sidelined him since August 2013. He is scheduled to start the third game of the opening series and the second home game — which likely will draw far more fans to Citi Field with Harvey on the mound that it otherwise would.

Harvey says: "For not throwing at all last year, I'm happy to be playing again. Whatever is decided on, when I get to throw, I'm going to be excited and all for it."

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