Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery, he announced in an Instagram video.
Verlander said he was hoping to fully return this season, but felt something in his elbow during a simulated game recently. After consulting with doctors, they determined Tommy John surgery was the best option.
“Obviously I’m extremely disappointed, but I will not let this slow down my aspirations for my career,” Verlander wrote on Instagram, accompanied by a video describing the situation. “I will approach this rehab the only way I know, attack and don’t look back. I’m confident that with a proper rehabilitation program and my unwavering commitment that this surgery will ultimately lengthen my career as opposed to shorten it.”
Verlander, 37, is set to be a free agent after next season.
Could it be the end for Verlander’s Astros tenure?
Verlander, a future Hall of Famer, will enter the final year of his contract while rehabbing from surgery. According to the Astros, the recovery time will be approximately 12-14 months, meaning Verlander won’t be back until the 2022 season. He’ll be 39 and his contract expires after the 2021 season.
The reigning AL Cy Young winner was shut down in late July. He was said to be out at least “a couple of weeks” with a forearm injury after an MRI confirmed it.
He started opening day for the Astros and pitched six innings, allowing two runs and three hits while striking out seven. He has played in fewer than 30 games only once in his 16-year career. That same year, 2015, is the only season outside of his rookie season he fell short of 200 innings pitched.
Verlander is a two-time Cy Young Award winner and won the 2017 World Series with the Astros after a blockbuster trade that August from the Detroit Tigers.
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