Max Scherzer to pitch in Triple-A, first start since surgery

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers right-hander Max Scherzer is set to make a minor league rehab start Wednesday, which will be the first game action for the 39-year-old since back surgery during the offseason.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner is scheduled to start for Triple-A Round Rock at home against Salt Lake, the Los Angeles Angels' affiliate.

Rangers manager Bruce Bochy and Scherzer said the plan is to throw about 50 pitches. The right-hander threw 40 pitches in a simulated game Friday.

Scherzer had surgery Dec. 15 to repair a herniated disk in his lower back. The eight-time All-Star was forced from his start in Game 3 of the World Series after three innings because of back discomfort.

An MRI after the Rangers won the World Series showed some inflammation in Scherzer's back. He started feeling better before experiencing nerve pain in his leg, then twice had epidural injections before another MRI revealed the herniated disk.

Scherzer was a trade-deadline acquisition for the Rangers last summer, and was 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA in eight starts before missing the last two weeks of the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs because of a strained muscle in his right shoulder.

His 3,367 career strikeouts are the most among active pitchers, 21 more than Justin Verlander. Scherzer is second on the list of active pitchers with 214 wins and 448 games started.