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January 11, 2014

Rangers LHP Derek Holland discusses knee injury, dismissing hockey rumors

Derek Holland knows some might be skeptical of how he injured his knee, but his story is what happened.

Holland said he injured his left knee by falling down a few stairs while playing with his dog on Tuesday morning, and shot down rumors that he might have injured it during a recreational hockey game on Monday night.

“The story seems fake, but I know what happened,” Holland said on Saturday. “Yeah, I play hockey but I didn’t get hurt playing hockey. It’s not like a real hockey league, it’s a no contact league and I use it more as a workout for my lower body and legs. It’s not like I’m out there trying to be a hero and become an NHL player.

“It’s upsetting that people think I hurt it that way and that’s why I’m talking. But I’m not going to sit and worry about it.”

The Rangers have had some strange injuries occur throughout their history. Just last season utility man Jeff Baker landed on the disabled list with a thumb injury after an over-exuberant high-five.

How did Holland's happen?

“I was having some fun with my dog and got clipped on my way up the stairs,” Holland said. “It actually could have been a lot worse.”

Holland's knee buckled and he grabbed the railing to avoid falling down more stairs. He immediately knew something was wrong and visited team physician Keith Meister for an MRI that revealed torn cartilage in Holland’s left knee.

Holland had surgery Friday and the Rangers are operating as though he will be out until midseason.

“It’s frustrating, it’s upsetting,” Holland said. “I felt like I let our fans down, let my teammates down. I’ve worked so hard this off-season to have something so small like this set me back is upsetting.”

Holland has already begun rehab on his knee with range of motion exercises, but will likely be in crutches for six weeks. He hopes to get back sooner than the midseason timetable.

“My goal is by mid-spring training to be running, but I don’t know what to expect,” Holland said. “Hopefully I’ll get back quicker, but it’s whatever the staff says. I have a great staff and they’ll get me to where I need to be.”

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said that the team will likely look for an internal candidate to step into Holland’s spot to start the season. Daniels said it’s unlikely that the team can get a “big ticket” pitcher on the market such as Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.

Internal candidates include Nick Tepesch, Colby Lewis, Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers and Jose Contreras.

-- Drew Davison

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