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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rangers' Matt Harrison shut down, sent for MRI


By on 2/20/2014 03:00:00 PM

After missing most of 2013 with back and shoulder problems, Texas Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison is already having some health issues early in Spring Training. On Tuesday, we reported that neck stiffness caused Harrison to skip throwing his scheduled live batting practice session. The problem has now spread into his back says T.R. Sullivan, Rangers beat writer for MLB.com.



By Keith Allison, via Wikimedia Commons
Harrison had two separate surgeries last season -- on April 23 and May 1 -- to repair herniated discs in his lower back. He then had a third surgery on September 9 to correct thoracic outlet syndrome in his left shoulder, his throwing shoulder. Sullivan says that the stiffness is near the surgery area in Harrison's back but is on the opposite side. Harrison says that he feels most of the stiffness on his right side. He and the Rangers are awaiting the results of a Thursday afternoon MRI.

Harrison spoke about the stiffness before leaving for his MRI. Said Harrison,
"There's obviously some concern there from what happened last year. I just hope that it's not a serious issue, and [that it is just] something I can take a few days down and stay on top of my core program and get right back out there, and hopefully that's the case. But it's not fair to say that I'm not worried about it, because I've had a lot of issues recently."
After his MRI, says Sullivan, Harrison will return to Texas for further examination.

Harrison was 18-11 with a 3.29 ERA and 1.261 WHIP in 2012. The Rangers are hoping he can bounce back to that form following his injury-filled 2013 that saw him make just two starts, losing both. The Rangers are already without Derek Holland for at least the first half. The good news is that Yu Darvish has overcome his hip discomfort, so if Harrison's stiffness is not serious, then the Rangers' rotation will be just fine.

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