The Houston Astros announced that staff ace and 2019 Cy Young winner Justin Verlander underwent surgery on his right groin on Tuesday, and he’ll be sidelined for six weeks while he recovers.
Normally this would mean that Verlander wouldn’t be ready for opening day. In a regular season in a parallel universe somewhere, he’d be ready to go on a rehab assignment at the beginning of May and would join the Astros soon after, missing about a month or so of the season.
In this season, which is currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Verlander won’t miss any games. With the season not expected to start until late May or June at the earliest, that six week recovery time means he should be right as rain once the season finally begins.
Verlander’s very first spring training start on Feb. 26 was pushed back due to a groin issue, but more recently he’d been dealing with a different injury that was threatening to keep him out of the opening day lineup: a lat strain. Verlander was removed from his spring training start on March 8 and went for an MRI due to triceps soreness that turned out to be a strained lat muscle.
A timeline was never given for Verlander’s recovery from the strained lat muscle, but he was already preparing to miss opening day before the shutdown.
Justin Verlander: “I would say it would probably take a miracle for me to be back by Opening Day.”
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) March 9, 2020
Now he’ll have more than enough time to recover from both his strained lat muscle and the groin surgery.
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