Derek Holland injury: Rangers SP hoping to be off crutches next month

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Holland says his injury was not as severe as that of of former teammate Scott Feldman.

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland told reporters Saturday that he expects to be off crutches Feb. 20, reports Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Holland had microfracture knee surgery in early January and is expected to be out until around mid-season. The procedure was necessary to repair torn cartilage in his knee suffered from falling on stairs at his home while playing with his dog. It had originally been reported as arthroscopic knee surgery, which would have meant a shorter recovery time. Microfracture surgery requires a doctor making small breaks in the kneecap to promote cartilage growth.

However, Holland says that his microfracture surgery was not as involved as that of his former teammate, Scott Feldman. Feldman had a similar procedure done immediately after the conclusion of the 2010 season and ended up missing eight months. He was ready to return to the Rangers in June 2011, but lingered on a minor league rehab rehab assignment for additional time as Texas had no room for him on the roster.

Holland, 27, is focusing on rehabbing his knee and getting back on the field as quickly as possible. His current plan calls for him to begin working on a stationary bike next week, with the goal of being off his crutches within a month.

The Rangers were expecting Holland to be a key member of their rotation in 2014 as they fight for an AL West division title. Holland broke out last season with a 3.42 ERA over 33 starts, striking out eight batters per nine innings. Now, Texas is scrambling to find a fifth starter. Internal candidates to fill the position include Tanner Scheppers, Nick Tepesch, Colby Lewis, Robbie Ross, and Jose Contreras.

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