Scherzer uncertain about return as rehab is stalled by nerve issue

May 11th, 2024

DENVER -- , whose recovery from December back surgery was slowed recently due to right thumb soreness, said on Saturday that team doctors believe the problem may actually be a nerve issue that extends up to his right triceps.

“I went back to Dallas to see the doctors,” Scherzer said. “All my strength is there, it’s testing out. Now we’re thinking this is a nerve issue. It’s the thumb, the forearm and the triceps.”

Scherzer said that he received a cortisone injection in his neck to try to address the issue, and that it helped with the thumb and forearm, which he said “kind of feel normal now.” But when he tries to throw, he’s still experiencing pain in his right triceps.

On April 24, Scherzer made a rehab appearance with Triple-A Round Rock. After that outing, he experienced thumb soreness, which prompted the Rangers to push his next rehab start back, and he hasn’t pitched since then. He tried to begin throwing again, but on Saturday he had to cut his session short due to the triceps issue.

While the club hadn’t placed an official timetable on Scherzer's recovery, and he says his back is fine, he doesn’t know what a nerve problem will mean moving forward as he tries to make his way back into Texas’ rotation.

“This is completely foreign to me,” he said. “I’ve never had nerve issues. I’ve never been a forearm guy -- I’ve always been a shoulder guy. So, as far as how to navigate this, I’m gonna have to lean on our training staff and our doctors to figure out what the best course of action is, so that we can alleviate the nerve [issue].”

Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, is in his age-39 campaign. He was traded from the Mets to the Rangers last July 30, and helped Texas reach and win its first World Series championship. In eight starts down the stretch, he posted a 3.20 ERA. He made three postseason starts, pitching to a 6.52 ERA over 9 2/3 innings. That included three scoreless frames in Game 3 of the World Series, which the Rangers won in six games over the D-backs.

This season, Texas has been inundated with pitching injuries, and the starting rotation is very thin -- along with Scherzer being sidelined, Jacob deGrom (Tommy John surgery) and Tyler Mahle (Tommy John surgery) aren’t expected to be ready until after the All-Star break, and Nathan Eovaldi (right groin strain), Dane Dunning (right rotator cuff strain) and Cody Bradford (lower back strain/stress fracture on rib) are also on the injured list.