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Injuries keep coming for Texas pitchers

The SportsXchange

It was not a good day for the Texas Rangers and their pitching staff.

The Rangers learned Wednesday that left-handers Martin Perez and Matt Harrison could be out for the rest of the year and possibly longer with serious injuries.

Harrison has a painful back condition causing nerve irritation that could necessitate potential career-ending spinal fusion surgery.

Perez could be facing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery after it was discovered that he has a partial ligament tear.

For Harrison, the options apparently are to cope with the pain or opt for the surgery. He already had two back surgeries last year, when he made just two starts after winning 18 games in 2012.

"The fact is there are not a lot of guys that have had that surgery and come back successfully," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "I feel for Matt and his family. It is a blow to the club, but he has worked extremely hard to come back. Although the odds aren't great, we hope he's the exception."

If Perez opts for the surgery, he could be lost for a year or longer. If he tries to rehab the elbow, he could return in 10 to 12 weeks.

"I've talked to Martin's agent, and we're going to sit down and talk with him on Friday," Daniels said. "We're still going through it and doing our homework. No decision has been made yet."

To cope with the loss of the two pitchers, the Rangers recalled Nick Tepesch to take Perez's spot in the rotation and decided to elevate Nick Martinez from the bullpen to replace Harrison as a starter.

Injuries have devastated the Texas pitching staff this season. Derek Holland (knee), Tanner Scheppers (elbow) and Joe Saunders (ankle) have been sidelined since spring training.

Saunders is currently on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock. Holland and Scheppers are throwing but not ready for rehab stints.
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