Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Snowy and cold Comerica Park was the scene for the annual TigerFest on Saturday, and while this is usually a day the players give back to the fanbase by offering an up close appearance, there was still some news coming out of the festivities.
Perhaps the biggest item on the minds of fans in attendance was the health of All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander. JV is nearing the mid-way point of his projected six-week rehab process after core muscle surgery. While most fans assumed we’d see him at some point in Spring Training and he’d be ready for Opening Day, March 31, a report circulating on Friday said otherwise.
"Justin Verlander is still early in the recovery process from core muscle surgery, and general manager Dave Dombrowski told MLive.com on Thursday there is a possibility the right-hander could miss the beginning of the season. “He’s doing great,” Dombrowski said of Verlander, who underwent surgery on Jan. 9. “I’m not concerned for him being out an extended period. If he misses any time of the season, it would only be a very short time period. I’m not ready to say that he will. But he’s doing very well.” – Cash Kruth, MLB.com"
Even early in the day on Saturday, this seemed to be the stance the Tigers’ brass was taking.
Perhaps this was one of those cases where someone was actually being taken out of context and that the reports were premature.
"Just to clear things up, the Detroit Tigers would not be broken up if Justin Verlander was not ready to pitch at the start of the regular season, considering that he’s just over two weeks removed from core muscle surgery repair. But the “IF” in there is the key word. “He’s doing tremendously,” Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said Saturday at TigerFest, after getting text messages from his star pitcher to clarify his status. “Again, surgery that went well. He’s very determined. He’s young. You’re talking about a world-class athlete, and sometimes they can take longer. His healing process has been very good, and ahead of schedule.” In fact, his recovery and rehabilitation has gone so well, Verlander will begin throwing on Monday. – Matthew Mowery, The Oakland Press"
It seems Justin was hearing these reports yesterday and wanted to put the minds of fans at ease. Verlander was not in attendance on Saturday due to his rehab.
Please forgive the pun, but perhaps the Tigers are just covering all their bases on this one which is the reason for the two somewhat different reports. No one knows just how a rehab will progress–there may be multiple setbacks or there might be none.
But one thing seems sure at this point, Justin is actually ahead of his rehab schedule.