Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander said Saturday on Instagram he needs Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner, sidelined since the July 24 season opener, said he is hopeful the procedure will "ultimately lengthen my career as opposed to shorten it."
"I was hopeful that I would be able to return to competition in 2020, however, during my simulated game (earlier this week) unfortunately the injury worsened," the 37-year-old right-hander wrote. "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."
The recovery period from Tommy John surgery, the reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament, generally ranges from 12 to 15 months. That would keep Verlander out until the 2022 season.
Verlander originally landed on the injured list with what was described as a forearm strain following his 73-pitch performance against the Seattle Mariners on Opening Day. He said his arm felt tender after giving up two runs on three hits in six innings while walking one and striking out seven in the 8-2 win in Houston.
Verlander won his second American League Cy Young Award last season after going 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA and 300 strikeouts in 223 innings.
For his career, the eight-time All-Star is 226-129 with a 3.33 ERA. He has 3,013 strikeouts in 2,988 innings with the Detroit Tigers (2005-17) and Astros. He was the AL Rookie of the Year in 2006 and collected his first Cy Young and the AL Most Valuable Player award in 2011.
"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," Verlander wrote on Instagram. "I'm eager to get through this recovery and back on the field to continue to do what I love."
Verlander signed a two-year, $66 million extension in March 2019 that keeps him with the Astros through the 2021 season. He will be a 39-year-old free agent heading into the 2022 season.
--Field Level Media