Second surgery pushes back Harrison's return

Second surgery pushes back Harrison's return

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison underwent a second operation on Wednesday to address a herniated disc in his lower back, pushing back the timetable for his return to the mound. The Rangers still expect Harrison to pitch again this season, but it's not going to be until August or later.

Harrison underwent surgery on April 23 to repair the bulging disc and was doing fine for the first week afterward. But he started feeling more discomfort on Tuesday and underwent an MRI on Wednesday morning. The results showed more herniation in the disc, requiring a second surgery. Harrison told the Rangers on Wednesday he "felt great" after the surgery.

"Obviously the last time, he felt great for eight days," general manager Jon Daniels said. "Time will tell. Our expectations are the same as last time, but now it's seven or eight days later. I don't think [a second surgery] is that uncommon, but you would like for it to not happen."

Harrison is expected to be out for at least three months so his return will likely be some time in August at the earliest. Daniels said the Rangers are operating under the assumption that Harrison will pitch again this season.

"I'm hopeful," Daniels said. "We'll just have to play it by ear. That's his expectation. We've got to get him healthy. Once his back is healthy, we can start ramping him up and see what happens."

Right now, the Rangers are going with a rotation of Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando, Nick Tepesch and Justin Grimm. The Rangers are also hopeful to get Colby Lewis back within the next 30-40 days.

Lewis, who had flexor tendon surgery on his right elbow on July 27, will make his second extended spring start on Saturday. He is scheduled to pitch two innings. After that, the Rangers will decide if Lewis needs to make another start in extended camp or is ready to go out on a 30-day rehabilitation assignment in the Minor Leagues.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.