Derek Holland has long been one of the bigger wild cards in the Texas Rangers organization, and last season he took a huge step toward not being a wild card anymore.
Now, the young lefty starter will be shelved for what will likely amount to half of the 2014 season after injuring his knee in what he said was a horeseplay incident with his dog that required knee surgery on Friday.
Now, the up-and-down Holland has seen the team psychologist, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, to help him try to remain positive during what is a pretty huge setback after Holland put together a fine 2013 and was a solid No. 2 for the Rangers' pitching staff.
"I'm trying to stay positive and not get too down," Holland told MLB.com coming off a 2013 season which saw him go 10-9 with a 3.42 ERA and two shutouts while tossing a career-high 213 innings.
Holland reportedly tore cartilage in his knee, but didn't suffer any torn ligaments, and the Rangers' team doctor told Holland he had likely injured the knee previously and wasn't aware of it. His prognosis is to be shut down for six weeks before beginning a throwing program with the hope of returning around midseason.
Holland said he hopes he can return sooner than mid-summer but said it's hard to know since he's never had the injury or the surgery before.
"I feel I could be back sooner, but I don't know, I've never had an injury like this," Holland said. "That seems like a long time, but I've never had this before, so I don't know what to expect."