ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 29: Matt Harrison #54 of the Texas Rangers pitches to the Tampa Bay Rays on August 29, 2012 at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
Last week when Matt Harrison felt stiffness in his lower back, hearts dropped all over Surprise, Ariz. And when he was sent back to DFW over the weekend for an MRI and a visit with team doctors, it certainly didn't help alleviate the concern.
After making just two starts in 2013 before missing the rest of the season and undergoing multiple back surgeries, Harrison is understandably being treated with kid gloves right now. But now, Harrison is set to return to Arizona to rejoin the club after getting a clean bill of health in DFW — great news for Harrison, and for the Texas Rangers.
The Rangers are hoping Harrison can be the club's No. 2 starter while Derek Holland is on the shelf, presumably until July, at the earliest. The lefty is scheduled to begin throwing again by Thursday but the near-two weeks he's been off from throwing will set him back to where he can't make the start for the Rangers in their second game of the season, as planned.
But the hope is Harrison will be ready for perhaps the second or third series of the season against Tampa Bay or Boston, respectively. That means Martin Perez is likely set to make the Rangers' second start of the season.