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Rangers activate LHP Matt Harrison for first start since last April, send down IF Sardinas

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SEATTLE - The Texas Rangers activated left-hander Matt Harrison from the 15-day disabled list to start against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, his first major league appearance since April 6, 2013.

Texas also optioned infielder Luis Sardinas to Double-A Frisco.

Harrison was the Rangers' opening day starter last season but only started two games before going on the disabled list with an inflamed nerve in his lower back. He had two back surgeries in a nine-day span a year ago, and another surgery on his right side in September.

Harrison was an All-Star and won 18 games in 2012, leading to a $55 million, five-year contract. He battled stiffness in his back and neck during spring training, starting the season on the disabled list.

In three minor league rehab starts, he gave up three earned runs in 16 innings.

"It's his first game, so I really don't know what to expect," manager Ron Washington said. "But I can say his mind is in the right frame. It's in the right place. We'll see what happens when he goes out there."

There had been speculation Texas would place outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who hasn't played since his hurting his left ankle at Oakland on Monday, on the disabled list to make room for Harrison. Washington said the Rangers are waiting to see if Choo will be able to play soon.

Choo took batting practice Saturday, and Washington said there was a chance he could be used as a pinch-hitter against the Mariners or in the Rangers' upcoming series at home against Oakland.

"His bat certainly didn't look like it had an issue," Washington said. We know it's going to be the running and the cutting."

Sardinas played three games for the Rangers and got a hit in his first major league plate appearance April 20. The 20-year-old is the youngest player to appear in the major leagues this season.

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