Holland to head back to Arizona

Holland to head back to Arizona

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Derek Holland, who has been sidelined since undergoing offseason surgery on his left knee, is expected to return to Arizona on Friday to continue his throwing program.

Holland is scheduled to be in Arizona for 10 days and throw at least three live batting practice sessions. After that he will be re-evaluated and possibly begin a medical rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Frisco. His first outing is tentatively scheduled for July 28 with Frisco.

The Rangers will take a conservative approach with Holland. Even though he has been throwing up to 80 pitches in his bullpen and live batting practice sessions, he will start out at two innings and 35 pitches. There is a possibility that Holland may not be ready for the Major Leagues until the end of August or the beginning of September.

"That is the way we planned it right now," pitching coach Mike Maddux said. "When you put stuff on paper, you're conservative. If he accelerates it, that's good. But we don't want to do too much too soon and have a setback. There is a difference between throwing on the side and throwing in game conditions. You can't simulate game conditions."

Outfielder Engel Beltre was removed from his rehab assignment to work on agility and making his first step quicker. There was no weakness or pain. Beltre fractured his right tibia after he was hit by a pitch in winter ball.

"The guy got a pipe in his leg, whatever they put in there," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Next few days we'll see if we can try to help him work some of the kinks out."

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.