Houston Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander suffered an elbow injury in late July during a game against the Seattle Mariners. He expressed the intention to work his way back instead of going under the knife, but that is no longer the case. Verlander announced Saturday he will undergo Tommy John surgery and officially end his season.
Verlander made the announcement with a video and explained that he took part in a simulated game a few days ago to test his recovery. However, he felt something off in his elbow. He then met with some well-respected doctors and examined the MRI. Together, they determined that Tommy John surgery was the best option for him.
Justin Verlander announces he will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his attempt to return this season.
(via JustinVerlander/IG) pic.twitter.com/jdsQdhFzsi— MLB (@MLB) September 19, 2020
"I'm going to handle this the only way I know how," Verlander said. "I'm going to be optimistic, and I'm going to put my head down and work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully come out on the other side better for it." Verlander then explained that he hoped this surgery would help him extend his career as he tries to accomplish multiple goals.
"Maybe the surgeon will use garbage cans instead of operating equipment," one person commented after watching Verlander's video. This tweet referenced the Houston Astros' cheating scandal in which they used garbage cans and video cameras to steal opposing teams' signs en route to the 2017 World Series victory. Many baseball fans believe that Verlander is a future Hall of Famer, but those that dislike the Astros have very different opinions.
When Verlander suffered the injury in July, the Houston Chronicle reported that he would miss the remainder of the season. The Cy Young winner disagreed and tweeted he had just suffered a forearm strain. Similarly, manager Dusty Baker expressed optimism about Verlander's potential return later in the season.
"We know it's a forearm strain, and he's being seen by the doctors," Baker told reporters. "He'll probably be shut down for a couple [of] weeks. We will see from there." Baker did not tell reporters if Verlander would pitch again in the season. He simply reiterated that the star would miss a few weeks and that the team would evaluate him once again at a later date.
Without Verlander on the active roster, the Astros will focus on finishing the regular season. The team is in the midst of a series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. They will then finish out the schedule with games against the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers.