Lewis was 32-29 with a 3.93 ERA in 80 starts with the Rangers in 2010-12 before undering going surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow on July 27, 2012. He tried to come back last year, but continued to have physical problems. Lewis finally had hip replacement surgery on Aug. 22, including the removal of bone spurs and a resurfacing of the hip. He is believed to be the first Major Leaguer to attempt to pitch after having this kind of surgery.
"I feel like anybody, this is all I know," Lewis said. "It's just like multiple guys in this clubhouse if they had the same kind of surgery, they'd want to make a comeback too. I just want to go out there and compete, have fun and give my team a chance to win."
The Rangers have been without a fifth starter since Joe Saunders went on the disabled list with a bruised left ankle after getting hit by a line drive on April 4 against the Rays. But Lewis' return means more to the Rangers than simply filling a spot in the rotation.
"It means everything," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's the grandfather of our pitching staff. He's the leader. It's nice to have him back, competing and getting results. We know what he is capable of doing. His presence has always been important, but more so this year with our young pitching staff. They have someone they can sit down and talk to … he can give them some of his wisdom and experiences."
Lewis is scheduled to pitch Monday, followed by Robbie Ross, Yu Darvish and Tanner Scheppers during the four-game series with the Mariners.