ARLINGTON -- Pitcher Derek Holland is feeling great physically but the Rangers are not about to rush him into a medical rehabilitation assignment.
Holland underwent microfracture surgery in January to repair torn cartilage in his left knee and has progressed to the point where he can pitch in simulated games. But the Rangers want to make sure the knee is strong before he goes out and pitches in Minor League games.
"It's all about strengthening the leg," general manager Jon Daniels said. "He's on target and maybe ahead of target. There is still some strengthening needed to build him up and protect the knee. We want him to have confidence and us to have confidence in the knee."
Holland threw approximately 45 pitches in a simulated game in Arizona on Thursday before returning to Arlington this weekend to continue his throwing program. Daniels said Holland will travel with the Rangers on their next road trip, a 10-game swing to Detroit, Minnesota and Washington. He will be re-evaluated at some point during or after the trip.
"We're going to tap the brakes a little bit," Daniel said. "There are no issues, he's doing good. We just want to be smart about it."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com 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.