Derek Holland, having mastered stairs, ready for a mound

03/31/2014 1:19 PM

11/12/2014 4:28 PM

Left-hander Derek Holland is planning to throw a bullpen session Wednesday, his first time on a mound since having microfracture surgery on his left knee in January.

He isn’t sure how many pitches he will be allowed to throw, but he has played long-toss up to 200 feet. He conquered one final test, going up and down stairs, before he could be cleared to get on a mound.

“I feel like a million bucks,” Holland said.

He also is convinced that he will return to the Texas Rangers’ rotation from the DL in June, a month ahead of the initial prognosis.

“Me, personally, I’ll probably be going on rehab the first week of May,” he said. “I’ve still go to do the whole month of rehab.”

For openers

Michael Choice was among seven Rangers who were on an Opening Day roster for the first time in their careers. Josh Wilson had experienced an opener, but Monday was his first time starting the season’s first game.

He got the nod at second base from manager Ron Washington because of his longevity on the roster, since the beginning of spring camp. Donnie Murphy joined the team Wednesday.

“Josh Wilson earned the Opening Day start,” Washington said. “He’s been with me since February. He can catch the ball. He’s aware of the situations. He can play.”

Murphy and Wilson will share time at second as they fill in for Jurickson Profar, who is expected to be out until the All-Star break with a torn muscle in his right shoulder.

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