Matt Harrison is taking the next step in his efforts to return from back surgery, as he will be going on a rehab assignment and pitching for Round Rock on Wednesday. Per Anthony Andro on Twitter, Harrison is expected to throw about 85 pitches for the Express.
Harrison, who missed most of 2013 and 2014 due to back surgery, is trying to come back from spinal fusion surgery. We are in largely uncharted waters here, as there's no record of any major league pitcher coming back from such a surgery. However, Harrison has been throwing well in extended spring, and had a bullpen session today at Arlington which apparently went well enough for the Rangers to decide to send him out.
Harrison can spend up to 30 days on a rehab assignment. If he is pitching well and is clearly ready, he could be activated before the 30 days are up, but my guess is that the Rangers are going to be cautious with him, and use most, if not all, of the 30 days.
Harrison has to show he can get AAA hitters out and stay healthy over the next month, but if he does, he should be back in the major leagues in early July. Here's hoping he does...and when he takes the mound for his first start in Arlington, I can't wait to hear the ovation he gets from the home crowd.