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Max Scherzer says he’s ‘ready to go’ for Rangers in ALCS

Max Scherzer told reporters Friday that he feels ready to return from a teres major muscle injury when the Texas Rangers begin the American League Championship Series against the rival Houston Astros.

Scherzer strained the muscle in his throwing shoulder on Sept. 12 and was placed on the injured list the following day. The initial prognosis was that Scherzer was done for the season, but the three-time Cy Young Award winner worked his way back and faced live batters last week for the first time since the strain.

“I recovered,” Scherzer told reporters. “I checked all the boxes I possibly can. I’m ready to go. I respect what Houston can do. They’re obviously a great team. I’ve got to bring my A-game.”

Scherzer was left off the Rangers’ AL Division Series roster while he was recovering. The Rangers swept the Baltimore Orioles to improve to 5-0 this postseason.

ALCS rosters must be turned in by 11 a.m. ET Sunday, the day of Game 1 at Houston.

Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux told reporters it was “looking all thumbs up” for Scherzer at the moment.

“We’re very encouraged,” Maddux said. “He threw I think 68 (pitches) against hitters and maintained his stuff. He didn’t skip a beat from one to 68. That was the encouraging part. He needs to sharpen up a little bit. But overall (it was) very encouraging.”

The Rangers have already named Jordan Montgomery their Game 1 starter for Sunday, but they could add Scherzer to a rotation that also features Nathan Eovaldi and includes Dane Dunning and Andrew Heaney as options.

The Rangers acquired Scherzer from the New York Mets at the trade deadline. The 39-year-old went 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA in eight starts for Texas before his injury.

Justin Verlander is slated to start Game 1 for the Astros.

–Field Level Media

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