Rangers notes: Matt Harrison to have surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

Posted Saturday, Sep. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Matt Harrison, already lost for the season because of two operations in April and May to fix a herniated disk, will undergo surgery Monday to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome in his right shoulder.

Harrison and Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels expect the left-hander to be ready for spring training as his latest bout with the nerve condition is on his non-throwing side. Harrison had surgery in July 2009 to fix the condition in his left shoulder and started 2010 as a member of the rotation.

“I’m trying to set a record for surgeries in a year,” Harrison joked Saturday. “When I had it on the left side, I was full recovery in 2 1/2 months, and this is an arm I don’t use to throw.”

Harrison, the Rangers’ Opening Day starter this year, has been bothered by pain in his right shoulder and neck and headaches in addition to the numbness that is also a symptom of thoracic outlet syndrome.

Dr. Greg Pearl of Dallas will perform the procedure by removing the upper right rib to alleviate the nerves that are being pinched.

The syndrome also has limited Harrison somewhat as he continues to strengthen his back after a comeback attempt was derailed last month. Had he been able to return from the back injury, he said he would have put off the surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.

“It stinks to have to have another surgery, but there’s nothing else I can do at this point,” Harrison said. “I was already shut down for the year. I’d rather go ahead and get this taken care of. If I was able to pitch again this year, I would have done my best to wait until the off-season to get this done.”

Harrison plans to meet with Rangers back specialist Dr. Drew Dossett within a week after his operation. He has stopped running outside and also has cut back on some of the core exercises he had been doing. Much of his routine consists of riding a stationary bike.

The back issue is a greater concern for him than the new bout with thoracic outlet syndrome.

“I expect to be 100 percent by the time next season comes around,” Harrison said. “It’s starting to get better since I’ve stopped doing baseball stuff. Maybe that’s what it needed.”

Darvish responds

Right-hander Yu Darvish, who hasn’t won his past four starts and who allowed five runs in five innings Wednesday, was asked, in light of seemingly everyone having an opinion about his season, what his thoughts on his season are.

His answer was, well, bold.

“No one has any right to judge how I pitch,” Darvish said. “I know I’ve been pitching my best performance.”

Darvish, who is 12-7 with a 2.91 ERA and leads the majors with 240 strikeouts, will pitch again Monday against Pittsburgh.

Martin dropped

Jurickson Profar was the Rangers’ leadoff hitter Saturday night after Leonys Martin was dropped to the ninth spot after 31 consecutive starts atop the lineup.

The move is likely to be temporary, said manager Ron Washington, who wanted to give Martin an opportunity to clear his mind. The rookie entered the second of three games at Angel Stadium batting just .185 (12 for 65) in his past 25 games.

Washington said he has seen Martin trying to press as games on the schedule take on more importance. That, with the results, led to the move.

“He hasn’t been getting a whole lot of balls out of the infield,” Washington said. “You see him after he made an out, and he’s fighting himself a little bit.”

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

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