Max Scherzer has yet to take the mound in 2024 for the Texas Rangers. The veteran pitcher underwent back surgery in the offseason and has dealt with setbacks that pushed his rehab process back. Fortunately, it seems as though he will make his return in the coming days.

After undergoing offseason surgery and aiming to return in May, Scherzer dealt with a nerve issue that stretches from his thumb to his triceps. His second and third rehab starts were subsequently delayed after he pitched 2.1 innings with the Triple-A Round Rock Express on April 24. He went 11 innings in total in his rehab appearances, allowing six earned runs (a 4.91 ERA) and collecting 17 strikeouts.

Scherzer is now ready to return for the Rangers in his next time on the mound, according to Stephen Hawkins of the Associated Press. While Andrew Heaney and Michael Lorenzen are penciled in as the starters for the final two games of Texas' series against the New York Mets, the Rangers will host the Kansas City Royals this weekend. That appears to be when Scherzer will make his season debut.

“I’m ready to get back out there…I’m just trying to rejoin the rotation wherever they want to reinsert me,” Max Scherzer said, via AP.

Rangers manager Bruce Bochy was pleased with how Scherzer looked in his rehab starts. Jacob deGrom also has yet to make it back for the Rangers. The former Cy Young winner will take more time than Scherzer to return but has continued to work hard at it, throwing off the mound for the first time since his surgery. The veteran pitchers are each hoping to stay healthy for the rest of the season and help turn the team’s fortunes around.

Rangers sliding below .500 amid numerous injuries

The defending champions have a 33-39 record right now, good enough to be in contention for second place in the AL West but still not a very promising record. Injuries to Scherzer, Jonah Heim, Josh Jung, Evan Carter, Nathaniel Lowe, Josh Sborz and more have sprung up at various times or were brought into the season, keeping Texas from being close to the best version of itself.

Lorenzen has been huge for the Rangers this season, sporting a 2.86 ERA in 11 starts/66.0 innings. Picking up someone in late March and getting such good production (even though his FIP sits at 4.71) has given the Rangers a fighting chance to stay afloat in the playoff race. Jon Gray (3.31 ERA in 65.1 innings) and Nathan Eovaldi (3.15 ERA in 60.0 innings) have also been pretty solid. Kirby Yates has been great out of the bullpen, allowing just three earned runs in 24.1 innings while striking out 34.4 percent of the batters he has faced.

While the Rangers have managed to tape up their pitching, their production at the plate has been disappointing. No one in their outfield has hit particularly well, nor has Lowe or Heim compared to their usual standards. Corey Seager and Marcus Semien are still mashing and Josh Smith has been hot at the plate at times but Texas just isn’t a potent offense right now. That will have to change if they want to defend their title.