ST. PETERSBURG - SEPTEMBER 07: Pitcher Derek Holland #45 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on September 7, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Derek Holland went on 105.3 The Fan to talk to Mike Bacsik on Tuesday and dropped a bombshell on the DFW Metroplex — he didn't just have surgery on Friday, he had micro-fracture surgery.
The procedure, which involves creating microscopic fractures in the kneecap to help stimulate cartilage growth is a scary term for athletes and is often a pretty serious deal. Holland and the Texas Rangers had said the lefty, who had a career year in 2013 and was locked in as the team's No. 2 pitcher, would be able to return around "midseason" presumably sometime around the all-star break in July.
Now, that seems highly doubtful and at best, a super best-case scenario.
Scott Feldman, the former Rangers' swing-man, underwent the procedure in November 2010 and didn't return to action until late July of the 2011 season, which would project Holland's return at some time in September, where he most likely wouldn't factor in as a starter in a pennant race. Of course, Feldman's was on his femur, not kneecap, but the procedure doesn't have the best track record with pro athletes.
Basketball star Greg Oden, who was a top draft pick and has barely played in the NBA, has basically seen his career derailed by the procedure, which was done on his knee. Of course, he's a 7-foot NBA center, which probably is a different stress than a pitcher, but the fact it's Holland's left knee is especially problematic for a left-handed pitcher.
The club still hopes for a return around the all-star break, but that seems highly unlikely. If you're a Rangers fan, you can cross your fingers and all, but don't expect much from Holland in 2014.