REPORT: Tigers' Justin Verlander expects to pitch in Saturday's doubleheader
Justin Verlander hasn’t had the season he’s wanted — but at least he’ll not have to go on the disabled list, since he considers it likely he will be back for Saturday’s doubleheader, having dealt with the inflammation that’s sidelined him for nine days.
Verlander told reporters in Tampa that he’ll throw a light bullpen Thursday and he’s definitely penciled in for one of the two Saturday games in Minnesota, according to MLive’s James Schmehl.
"I would say it's strong to quite strong," Verlander said of the possibility, as the Detroit Free Press' George Sipple reported.
That’s a huge news for Verlander, who hadn’t ever missed a start due to injury until this week, and has still never been on the DL.
“It means a lot to me. I’m very prideful of that, and I’ve put in a lot of work for that. I’ve actually never missed a start before, so it’s going to be tough. I guess now I’ll just hang my hat on not going on the DL, and stay off that,” he said last week, admitting that he didn’t know of he could get back to 100 percent that quickly.
“We’ll see. I’m excited to get back out there. Whether it’s 100 percent or not, I’ll be ready to pitch.”
After leaving his Aug. 11 start after just one inning, and getting an MRI the next day, Verlander had not touched a baseball until Tuesday, as the team’s medical staff worked to clear up the inflammation in his throwing shoulder.
Tuesday’s side session was to determine whether he could take the next step, and return to throwing or not. If he couldn't go by Saturday, it was possible he'd have to be put on the disabled list, anyway, to allow the team to bring up another arm.
In the interim, Verlander had sought second opinions on the diagnosis from various doctors, which came back with the same conclusion.
Robbie Ray will start Friday, Schmehl reported, while Buck Farmer will be recalled to start the other of the two Saturday games.