ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Max Scherzer was transferred to the 60-day injured list Wednesday, when the Texas Rangers made a move they initially avoided at the start of the season when there was some hope the three-time Cy Young Award winner might return from offseason back surgery sooner than expected.

When Scherzer made his initial rehab appearance April 24, he appeared to be on track to possibly rejoin the rotation this month. But he was scratched from his next scheduled rehab start six days later because of right thumb soreness that team doctors later identified as a nerve issue that extended to his right triceps.

He had cortisone injections and Botox injections to the shoulder and neck area May 9 to alleviate pain associated with nerve issue.

“It’s aggravating to deal with this, but we are talking about your nerves,” Scherzer said. “You can be screwing up your arm for the rest of your life. We’ve got to figure out a way to manage it.”

Scherzer played catch in the outfield Wednesday, when the Rangers moved him from the 15-day to 60-day IL to make room on their 40-man roster for the addition of right-hander Shaun Anderson to their active roster.

“We just backed him off some,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said Wednesday. “I will say he’s feeling better.”

Anderson was recalled from Round Rock when Jack Leiter was optioned back to that Triple-A team a day after allowing six runs in 1 2/3 innings against Cleveland in his first home start.

The earliest Scherzer could be activated now is May 28, though it is unclear when he might be ready to pitch this season.

The 39-year-old right-hander had surgery in mid-December to repair a herniated disk in his lower back, and has said that isn’t giving him any issues.

Scherzer threw 52 pitches into the third inning of his first rehab start for Round Rock on April 24. He said after that he had been experiencing thumb soreness similar to last year before being sidelined for the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs for the World Series champion Rangers.

The Rangers acquired Scherzer from the Mets in a deadline trade last July after the pitcher agreed to opt in on the final year of his contract for this season at $43.3 million. New York is paying $30.83 million of that to Texas in twice-monthly installments.

After the trade, Scherzer was 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA in eight starts for Texas, the last in the regular season on Sept. 12 before being sidelined by a muscle strain in his shoulder. He returned to make two starts in the American League Championship Series, then Game 3 of the World Series before exiting after three innings because of his back.

His 3,367 career strikeouts are the most among active pitchers, and he’s second on the active list with 214 wins and 448 games started.

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