Four games between the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers became more than just an ordinary May series seven months ago, when the two sides swapped All-Stars in an attempt to alter their offenses.

Thursday, in particular, was supposed to be the biggie as the clubs matched up for the time since the November trade of Ian Kinsler for Prince Fielder. It was supposed to give the Rangers and Tigers a chance to be reminded of what the other was missing.

Both, it turns out, are missing Fielder, who has a herniated disc in his neck and is seriously considering having surgery that would likely end his season.

He was at the Carrell Clinic in Dallas visiting spine specialist Dr. Drew Dossett rather than at Comerica Park, where fans who had targeted him for their postseason failures a year ago had to find someone else to pick on.

Though Fielder received a nerve-root injection over the weekend, the shot doesn’t remove the chunk of disc from the nerve that is pinched and is causing weakness in Fielder’s left arm.

Only surgery can fix that. As of the opener of the four-game series, the Rangers are hoping that Fielder won’t become their 17th player to hit the disabled list this season.

“We flew out last night, I got here at 8 o’clock this morning, and I haven’t had any conversations with anyone yet,” manager Ron Washington said. “He could still fly here.

“I think he’s disappointed that he can’t be here not only for this series but for his team. It’s a situation where there wasn’t anything he could do about it. If he could, he would be here.”

If surgery becomes the best option, the Rangers would bring Donnie Murphy off rehab assignment to take Fielder’s roster spot and Mitch Moreland would continue as the regular first baseman.

The Rangers would also be trailing significantly in the Kinsler-Fielder swap, though it’s unfair to judge the trade as a failure after only six weeks.

Kinsler entered Thursday batting .317 with four homers, 20 RBIs, 31 runs and six steals, and was the American League leader in multihit games, with 19. Fielder, who hasn’t played since Friday, was hitting .247 with three homers and 16 RBIs.

Fielder has six years remaining on his contract after this season. Kinsler has three, plus a 2018 club option.

“People are going to write about the trade,” said Kinsler, who spoke to the media before the game for more than 10 minutes. “People are going to write about me and Prince, what’s happening with us throughout the whole year and probably throughout the rest of our careers as long as we’re with the Rangers and the Tigers.”

Kinsler clarified some of his remarks about leadership he made in a February story in ESPN the Magazine. He said that wanted to be a leader last season with the Rangers and that he attempted to relay to young players how they should play and behave.