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The Texas Rangers’ title defense won’t start off easily.

The team announced Friday pitcher Max Scherzer underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his lower back.

Scherzer was traded to the Rangers from the New York Mets near the trade deadline, but he suffered a right teres muscle strain in September, which kept him out until the postseason. 

When he returned, he was yanked from his start in Game 3 of the World Series due to back issues. Texas won the World Series over the Arizona Diamondbacks in five games.

Scherzer said his back pain got worse after he returned home following the World Series, and he likely will be out until June or July.

“Getting this procedure done now will give me the best chance to pitch as much as possible for the Rangers in 2024,” Scherzer said. “I look forward to putting in the rehab work and getting back on the mound next summer.”

Scherzer had a left oblique strain last year while with the Mets and had neck spasms last season.

The Rangers have Nathan Eovaldi, and it remains to be seen whether Jordan Montgomery, now a free agent, will return. They also await the return of Jacob deGrom from Tommy John surgery, but he, too, has dealt with various injuries.

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“Obviously not the best news, but nonetheless, we’re glad that we have a diagnosis and a solution,” general manager Chris Young said. “Max is recovering and feeling better already, and we look forward to getting him healthy and back out there next summer.”

The World Series win was Scherzer’s second. He won in 2019 with the Washington Nationals.

Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, went 13-6 last season with a 3.77 ERA in 27 starts, striking out 174 in 152.2 innings.

Max Scherzer grimaces

His contract expires after the 2024 season, when he will be 40 years old. His 3,367 strikeouts are the most among active pitchers.

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