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Max Scherzer gives troubling update on back injury

Max Scherzer in uniform for the Rangers

Oct 4, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) is seen in the dugout during game two of the Wildcard series for the 2023 MLB playoffs against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers pitcher Max Scherzer prematurely exited Game 3 of the World Series due to a back injury. Scherzer’s status for the rest of the series now appears to be in jeopardy.

The 3-time Cy Young winner started Monday and pitched three scoreless innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz. Scherzer was seen in serious discomfort as he tried to walk back to the mound for the fourth inning (video here). He was replaced by Jon Gray, who was credited with the win in the Rangers’ 3-1 victory.

Scherzer also took a batted ball to the back in the second inning but was still able to get through the third.

Scherzer spoke to reporters about his injury status after the game. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the All-Star pitcher said his back “locked up on him” and that his status for the rest of the series “is uncertain.”

Scherzer also clarified that the back issue is not a “strain” but rather a “spasm.” He added that he had previously overcome a similar issue in 2-3 days but it could potentially linger beyond that.

Scherzer missed both the Wild Card round and the ALDS due to a muscle strain. He was able to return to the rotation in the ALCS, where he gave up 7 runs in 6.2 innings pitched. Monday marked his first appearance in the World Series against Arizona.

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