Rangers S Derek Holland went under the knife this week to repair torn left knee cartilage, a procedure that should keep him out of the Texas rotation for much of the 2014 season. Holland claims the injury was entirely unrelated to a pick-up ice hockey game he participated in last Monday, instead blaming his dog, whom the Dallas Morning News’ Gerry Fraley tells us is “a standard-sized boxer” named Wrigley.

“I was running around with the dog and took off up the stairs,” said Holland, the club leader in starts (33) and innings pitched (213) last season. “He chased me and ran up under me and undercut me, and I slammed my head on the steps.

“It could have been worse. I could have cracked my head open. I was doing a typical guy thing, clowning around with the dog thing, and this happened.”

Holland was irritated by suggestions the injury came during an amateur hockey game Monday night in Frisco.

“I played the full game, and nothing happened,” Holland said. “It’s sad that people have to look for something like that.”

Holland rejoined the hockey team this off-season after a four-year absence and played in eight games. GM Jon Daniels declined to say whether the club was aware of Holland’s activity. Daniels added there is no reason to doubt Holland’s explanation for the fall.

Three veteran agents said they have never seen a guaranteed contract that does not include hockey on a long list of banned activities. If a player is injured while participating in a banned activity, the club can turn a guaranteed contract into a nonguaranteed deal, lessening financial obligations. Holland is guaranteed $25.3 million over the next three seasons.