Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander hasn’t pitched since August 28.
That day, he sustained a right calf injury that sent him to the 15-day injured list.
Slowly but surely, the former MVP and Cy Young winner began clearing hurdles with a quick return in mind.
He is now with the club in Detroit and may be able to make it back before the end of the week.
“Justin Verlander is with the Astros on this three-game trip to Detroit. He’s playing catch in right field at Comerica Park. You may have heard, but he once pitched here,” the Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome tweeted.
Justin Verlander is with the Astros on this three-game trip to Detroit. He's playing catch in right field at Comerica Park. You may have heard, but he once pitched here.
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) September 12, 2022
Verlander Could Make His Return To The Astros Rotation This Week
As you probably can remember, Verlander pitched with the Tigers for most of his career, from the mid-2000s until 2017.
He was traded to the Astros in 2017 and won the World Series that year.
Verlander pitched a bullpen session on Friday and Sunday and he played catch on Monday, which means he is on track to rejoin Houston’s starting rotation later this week against the Oakland Athletics.
If everything goes according to the plan, the 39-year-old ace could return on Friday, although it’s not official.
Houston is about to get one of the best pitchers in the American League back, a bonafide Cy Young candidate with his 1.84 ERA and 154 strikeouts in 152 frames.
The Astros’ priority is to have Verlander well rested an healthy in time for the postseason, but ideally, they want him with two or three additional starts under his belt after the calf issue.
It seems like they will be able to get him those starts, as Houston prepares to make another run at the Fall Classic.NEXT: Framber Valdez Keeps His Quality Streak Alive