Verlander needs Tommy John surgery

Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander announced Saturday that he needs Tommy John surgery.

“After consulting with several of the best doctors, it has become clear that I need Tommy John surgery,” Verlander wrote on Instagram. “I was hopeful that I would be able to return to competition in 2020, however, during my simulated game unfortunately the injury worsened. Obviously I’m extremely disappointed, but I will not let this slow down my aspirations for my career. 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. I can’t thank my teammates, coaches, the front office, and my fans enough for the support they have given me so far in this process. I’m eager to get through this recovery and back on the field to continue to do what I love.”

Verlander, 37, has been on the injured list since late July due to a forearm strain. He made one start before being sidelined.

The 16-year veteran refuted claims in July that his season was over after initially receiving his diagnosis. Verlander also underwent groin surgery during the spring.

Verlander won his second career American League Cy Young Award in 2019. Since joining the Astros via trade from the Detroit Tigers in 2017, he’s gone 43-15 with a 2.45 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, and 640 strikeouts in 477 innings.

Due to the lengthy recovery associated with Tommy John surgery, there’s a chance Verlander has thrown his final pitch in an Astros uniform. He’ll likely miss the entirety of the 2021 season and is scheduled to hit free agency upon its conclusion.

The Astros own a 25-26 record and 4.43 team ERA, the latter being the 13th-best mark in MLB. Houston holds the No. 6 seed in the AL playoff race by virtue of being in second place in its division.

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