The back surgery will likely be a microdiscectomy, given the relatively short return time. The surgery will be performed in Dallas by Dr. Drew Dossett, one of the country’s top back surgeons and a protege of Dr. Robert Watkins.
A microdiscectomy is a surgery in which the spinal surgeon or neurologist goes into the spine through a tiny incision and removes a small part of the damaged spinal disc using special tools. These spinal discs act as cushions between the vertebrae, so removing only the damaged or impinging part leaves much of the cushioning effect in place and results in less trauma.
Harrison should have no trouble returning once he completes the rehabilitation program following surgery and regains the stamina in his arm. Pitchers such as Randy Johnson, Kevin Brown and Eric Gagne and players like Rafael Furcal have had similar procedures and returned on schedule.
In the meantime, the Rangers will continue to use young pitchers Nick Tepesch and Justin Grimm.