Derek Holland required microfracture knee surgery

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Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News shares the update:

The Texas Rangers acknowledged on Tuesday that left-hander Derek Holland underwent micro-fracture surgery on the left knee last week. The procedure underscores why the Rangers have said they are planning on Holland to be out until the All-Star break.

In the surgery, Rangers medical director Dr. Keith Meister created tiny fractures in the kneecap. The fractures are designed to stimulate the growth of new cartilage in the area.

Rangers right-hander Scott Feldman underwent the same surgery in November 2010 and didn’t make his 2011 regular-season debut until July 22. If Holland also requires an eight-month recovery, he could be out until August.

Holland, 27, registered an excellent 3.42 ERA, 1.286 WHIP and 189/64 K/BB ratio across 213 innings (33 starts) last season for Texas. The Rangers may have to turn to the free agent market to replace him.

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.

Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.

Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.