Left-hander Matt Harrison has been waiting seven months to return to game action and he’ll get his chance Tuesday morning in a ‘B’ game against the Kansas City Royals.
Harrison is scheduled to start the game and throw one inning as he takes another step forward in what has become a long road back. Harrison underwent a pair of back surgeries last April and May and then had season-ending surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome on Sept. 9.
The 2012 American League All-Star last pitched during a medical rehabilitation assignment on Aug. 9 with Triple A Round Rock.
“It’s finally here,” Harrison said. “Getting into a game again and getting that adrenaline rush again is exciting. It’s not live BP, it’s a real game and I’ve been waiting seven months for it now.”
Harrison came into spring training ready to go, but sleeping on a soft mattress early on caused lower back stiffness. That has delayed Harrison’s progress and he won’t be ready by Opening Day.
But Harrison has felt good going through live batting practice and bullpen sessions the past week. He threw a 35-pitch bullpen session Sunday and feels the ball is coming out as well as it ever has.
“Physically, I’m not worried about anything,” Harrison said. “It’s just about getting back into that mental state of getting the routine back and staying in control and not letting the game speed up on me.”