ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison said he knew he might have more problems when he went through two surgeries to repair a herniated disc in his lower back last season. His worst fears came to pass this week, when he was diagnosed with a displaced vertebra, which is causing severe nerve irritation in his lower back.
Harrison is now trying to decide if he will attempt to pitch through the problem or have spinal fusion surgery and correct the problem. The challenge is that the odds do not favor full recovery from fusion surgery.
"I'm willing to give it a try but right now I'm just still trying to wrap my head around what's going on at this point in time and trying not to let it sink in that it may have been my last game," Harrison said. "I'm just trying to stay positive as much as I can and take it day to day and then find out what I really want to do.
"But I can't obviously go out there and pitch the way I was last time with this stuff going on. My back's still hurting from the other day and I'm having some pain now down my leg and a lot of weakness there. So obviously it's not something that I can pitch with right now. "
Harrison was examined by Dr. Drew Dossett earlier this week and is waiting confirmation on the diagnosis from Dr. Robert Watkins, another back specialist.
"I'm going to have a few days here when they go on the road to sit down and actually talk about it more with my wife and the rest of my family and see what they think about it and go from there. It's just a tough situation. I hate it, I'd give every dollar back just to be the way I was in 2012 again. It's just tough to swallow the way things have gone this past year and a half and things that are happening right now."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.