Harrison feels better, but unlikely for opening series

02/23/2014 11:40 AM

02/23/2014 4:12 PM

Matt Harrison feels 100 percent right now, but knows it’s unlikely that he’ll be in the Texas Rangers’ Opening Day rotation.

Harrison flew back to Texas on Sunday and will have his back examined by Dr. Drew Dossett today. However, Harrison believes the lower back stiffness he felt earlier this week was simply a result of sleeping on an uncomfortable bed.

“The bed was an issue,” Harrison said. “I switched beds and haven’t had any issues.”

Harrison is still going back to Texas for his scheduled appointment. The Rangers are taking a cautious approach with Harrison, who had two back surgeries to repair a herniated disk in late April and early May last season. If all goes well, Harrison would be cleared to resume his throwing program next week but would be about 10 days behind. And, given his surgeries last season, the Rangers aren’t going to accelerate Harrison’s program and push him to make the Opening Day squad.

Harrison made only two starts last season, and is hopeful to have the reverse happen this year. He expects to miss the season-opening series against the Phillies.

“If I only miss two and make 30 starts, that would be nice,” Harrison said.

The Rangers agree with that sentiment.

“The way we’ve built the team, we definitely subscribe to the theory we want these guys to be strong at the end of the season in starts in September and hopefully in October,” assistant general manager Thad Levine said. “Those would have more value in our minds than starts in April.”

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