The 2024 MLB season is currently underway and the Texas Rangers certainly want nothing more than a successful title defense. For that to happen, however, the team will first have to be at full strength. The Rangers are currently dealing with a number of pitcher injuries, one of which revolves around Max Scherzer. Last December, Scherzer underwent surgery for a herniated disc and was expected to be out until June or July. A recent update, however, points to a much earlier comeback. According to Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal, the hurler could return sometime during early May.

“They're (The Rangers are) hoping for early May,” Rosenthal said, pertaining to Scherzer's return. “…(he's) expected to throw 40 pitches in live batting practice tomorrow and then maybe he goes out on a Minor League rehab assignment. The original plan was late June. Then it got shifted to early June, then late May and now early May.”

Rosenthal's additional comments also highlight how Scherzer's step-by-step recovery process is going well.

“Scherzer told me last week that he's still a little bit cautious about this whole thing only because he has to pass each step with everything checked off. But so far so good — he has checked every box and they're looking forward to him returning much sooner than expected.” (per Fox Sports: MLB)

A three-time CY Young winner, Scherzer's resume speaks for itself. He spent the peak of his career with the Detroit Tigers and the Washington Nationals. With eight All-Star appearances, two World Series titles and multiple records to his name, “decorated” is an understatement when it comes to describing Scherzer's career.

Max Scherzer's injury is just one of several for the Rangers

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) throws a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning in game three of the 2023 World Series at Chase Field
Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Although he won his second World Series title last year, 2023 wasn't the best season for the 39-year-old, health-wise. Scherzer was traded to the Rangers last July following a two-year stint with the New York Mets. With Texas, he only started in eight regular season games due to a Teres Major strain. In the playoffs, Scherzer's injury troubles resulted in just three games played.

His return will surely be a huge boost to the Rangers, especially with their aforementioned injury problem at the mound. Besides Scherzer, the Rangers are without pitchers Cody Bradford, Jacob deGrom and Tyler Mahle.

Bradford was placed on a 15-day IL on Sunday due to back soreness. The left-hander was performing well before getting hurt, tallying a 1.40 ERA in three starts this season. DeGrom and Mahle, on the other hand, are still recovering from their respective Tommy John surgeries last year.

Aside from the main rotation, the bullpen is hurting as well. Josh Sborz just went down with a rotator cuff strain while Brock Burke broke his non-throwing hand while punching a wall in frustration last Friday. Outside the pitching department, infielders Josh Jung and Nathaniel Lowe are also nursing injuries of their own.

Regardless, the team seems to be holding up, as they currently have an 11-9 record for a first-place standing in the AL West.