Rangers’ Matt Harrison has second operation on back

Posted Wednesday, May. 01, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Left-hander Matt Harrison expects to pitch again this season after undergoing a second operation on his back Wednesday.

The procedure became necessary after a second herniation was found in the same disk that required surgery April 23. Harrison had gone a week without any pain in his legs, but it returned Tuesday.

The timetable for recovery remains the same as after the first operation — three months, give or take a week — and Harrison’s return could land between the All-Star break and Aug. 1.

“Well, it’s definitely frustrating to have this happen again,” he said in a text message. “But it’s better to have it happen a week out and not three months out.”

General manager Jon Daniels said that surgery had alleviated the pain Harrison started feeling again. He had been doing an hour’s worth of light rehab and 30 minutes of walking, but that isn’t believed to be what triggered the new pain.

The surgery, though, didn’t entirely come as a surprise. Harrison said that Dr. Drew Dossett informed him that there was a 15 to 20 percent chance that a second surgery would be required.

“I guess I fell in those percentages,” Harrison said.

The Rangers have survived quite nicely without Harrison, who lost both of his starts this season before hitting the disabled list.

Right-hander Justin Grimm replaced him in the rotation and is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA after three starts. He starts again Thursday night in the finale against Chicago.

More options should be available later this month. Left-hander Martin Perez tossed three scoreless innings Wednesday at extended spring training, and right-hander Colby Lewis is scheduled for two extended-spring innings Saturday.

Daniels didn’t seem stunned by the Harrison setback or discouraged about his chances of pitching again this season.

“That’s his expectation,” Daniels said. “But we’ve just got to get him healthy. Once the back’s healthy and we start ramping up, we’ll have a better idea of the timetable. Right now, we’re using three months, but that’s a loose guess at this point.”

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson

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