Rangers LHP Harrison not likely ready for opener

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm •  Published: February 23, 2014
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SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Matt Harrison concedes that he likely won't be ready to pitch for the Texas Rangers by opening day.

The left-hander, who hasn't thrown in a week because of stiffness in his neck and back, just hopes things are different from last year. He was the opening day starter then, but made only one more start.

"Kind of trade-off from last year," Harrison said Sunday. "Only making two and miss 30, and miss two and make 30, that would be nice.'

Even though Harrison is feeling much better after switching beds, he was still returning to Texas to be examined by the specialist who did both operations last year for a herniated disk in his lower back.

"I think at this stage, based upon the initial symptoms that he reported, we just wanted to make sure we're all clear before we ramp up again," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said.

Harrison had also been scheduled to throw live batting practice last Tuesday and wanted to pitch, but the Rangers held him out of that as a precaution because of neck stiffness.

Two days later, he was scratched again from a throwing session with stiffness in his back.

An MRI showed no immediate cause for concern, but the Rangers scheduled an appointment with Dr. Drew Dossett, who wasn't available until Monday because he was at the NFL combine.

"I think for sure the bed was an issue. Since I've gotten out of that bed and switched beds I haven't had any issues," Harrison said. "Everybody usually feels sore the first couple of days just getting back acclimated to running around out there."