Haren didn't throw a bullpen session on Tuesday, but long-tossed and threw pain free for the first time since suffering the injury. The 31-year-old right-hander says the current issue is unrelated to the stiff lower back that landed him on the disabled list in early July and may simply be a product of bad mechanics.
"This wasn't as frustrating as it was before, just because of what the doctors have told me," Haren said. "Right when I did it, they said it was normal for something like this to pop up. Getting that little bit of extra extension, I'm going to pull on things that I haven't been working on for the last couple of months. I got into bad habits mechanically, like I told you guys after my first start, my second start, I told you I was mechanically out of whack. That could've kind of played a part in it. I think I'm kind of lucky that I dodged anything bigger. Avoiding the DL is always a good thing."
Haren is 8-8 with a 4.59 ERA in 19 starts this year, but has given up only three runs in 12 innings since coming off his first ever DL stint. Shortly after giving up one run in six-plus innings in a win over the Rays on Friday, Haren thought the pain in his right side would land him back on the shelf.
But "every day, we've done a little bit more than we thought we were going to do, so that's a good thing," Haren said.
Richards will match up against Yu Darvish on Wednesday, with C.J. Wilson facing newcomer Ryan Dempster in Thursday's series finale against the Rangers. Then, against the White Sox, it'll be Zack Greinke on Friday, Ervin Santana on Saturday and Haren on Sunday, which could then buy the other starters an extra day of rest.
Richards, with a 3.91 ERA in 48 1/3 innings this year, will be on seven days' rest and will be making his first start at Rangers Ballpark.
"I'm going to go out and I'm going to pitch my game," said Richards, who has a 1.59 ERA in 5 2/3 career innings against Texas. "I'm going to attack guys; I'm going to pitch in and get ahead early."