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Lewis, Harrison hoping for significant strides

BALTIMORE -- Injured starting pitchers Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison are both on the Rangers' road trip to Baltimore and Detroit. Both are hoping their work this week leads to a significant next step immediately after the All-Star break.

Harrison, who has had two surgeries to repair a herniated disk in his lower back, is throwing long toss and playing catch off the mound. That's his plan for the rest of this week. But if that goes well, he could start throwing in earnest off the mound after the All-Star break.

"We're still looking at the end of August if all goes well," said Harrison, who had his second surgery on May 2. "Maybe six or seven bullpen sessions and a couple of live batting practices and hopefully I can get in a game [on a rehab assignment] by the beginning of August. But everything has to go right for that to happen."

Lewis has had his setbacks in the past five weeks while trying to come back from flexor tendon surgery in his right elbow. He's twice been recalled from a medical rehabilitation assignment because of discomfort in his elbow but is scheduled to pitch live batting practice on Tuesday. He is hoping to do that twice on this road trip.

"We'll see how it reacts and then see if I'm ready for a rehab assignment," Lewis said.

Lewis, who had surgery on July 27, 2012, would likely need a minimum of three starts in the Minors before the Rangers would consider him an option for the Major League rotation. That would push it right up to the July 31 Trade Deadline and be a factor in the Rangers willingness to trade for starting pitching help.

Alexi Ogando, who is on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to make his second rehab start on Thursday in the Minor Leagues. He would make a third start the following Tuesday and that could possibly put him in position to be activated off the disabled list after the All-Star break.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.
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