May 8, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison (54) throws during the game against the Colorado Rockies at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Texas won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Harrison undergoes career-threatening spinal surgery

When Texas Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison returned to the mound in April, there was a great deal of optimism that his long-time back issues were behind him. Harrison navigated four starts for the Rangers, but unfortunately, he was forced back to the shelf as a result of more back troubles, and now, the 28-year-old has been forced to undergo what could be a career-threatening spinal procedure.

Anthony Andro of Fox Sports Southwest brings the details:

Harrison underwent lumbar disc fusion surgery in Dallas Tuesday. The surgery was performed by Dr. Drew Dossett and Harrison is expected to be hospitalized for at least two nights following the surgery to fuse the L5-S1 disc.

There was a chance Harrison was going to try and pitch after being diagnosed with spondylolisthesis. He received an epidural injection to try and alleviate the pain two weeks ago.

As you may imagine, the left-hander will be out for the remainder of the 2014 season, but the greater concern is for his long-term health and it appears that he will attempt a comeback from this surgery. The Rangers are in a very difficult position, simply because they have invested heavily in Harrison after he excelled for a couple of years, but Texas will be forced to explore options for the immediate future.

It seems like forever since Matt Harrison accumulated 7.7 WAR over nearly 400 innings from 2011 to 2012, but the focus has very much shifted from on-field production to off-field health. We wish him the best of luck in his hopefully speedy recovery.

Tags: Matt Harrison Texas Rangers