Matt Harrison starts Frisco opener Thursday

Texas Rangers left-handed pitcher Matt Harrison will start for Double-A Frisco on Opening Day, which is Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco. The RoughRiders face the Northwest Araknsas Naturals.

Harrison, who fell behind the other pitchers at spring training after sleeping on a soft mattress and experiencing back and neck tightness in February, will continue his rehab assignment with the start. He is scheduled to go four innings after pitching three innings in an exhibition against the Houston Astros on Friday.

Harrison likely needs a few more starts, every five days, before he could join the rotation. But that could mean sometime in the final week of the month, if he has no setbacks. The 28-year-old made just two starts early last season before needing two back surgeries and missing the rest of the season. He had a third surgery to alleviate Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Harrison had an MRI on his back in spring and there were no issues and he hasn’t had any difficulty throughout the spring since that point.

Thursday is the first of a six-game homestand for the RoughRiders to open the 2014 season.