Astros' Justin Verlander to Undergo Tommy John Surgery on Elbow Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2020

Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, July 24, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander announced he will need Tommy John surgery in an Instagram post Saturday:

"After consulting with several of the best doctors, it has become clear that I need Tommy John surgery. I was hopeful that I would be able to return to competition in 2020, however, during my simulated game unfortunately the injury worsened. 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. I'm confident that with a proper rehabilitation program and my unwavering commitment that this surgery will ultimately lengthen my career as opposed to shorten it. 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. I'm eager to get through this recovery and back on the field to continue to do what I love."

The Astros also released a statement on the decision: 

This is another setback after the right-hander was shut down because of a forearm injury in July.

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Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reported at the time that Verlander would be out for the season, but the ace took to Twitter to explain: "The report that I'm currently missing the rest of the season is not accurate. There is a forearm strain... I'm hopeful that with some rest it will heal and I'll be able to return soon. Thank you for all the well wishes."

Verlander is one of the best pitchers of his generation and features a resume that includes a Rookie of the Year, American League MVP, two Cy Young Awards, an American League Championship Series MVP, ERA title, 2017 World Series crown and eight All-Star nods.

The Astros figured to rely on the 37-year-old even more in 2020 after Gerrit Cole signed with the New York Yankees, but he couldn't stay healthy.

What's more, Lance McCullers Jr. missed the 2019 campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery and  recently rejoined the rotation after a stint on the 10-day IL with neck trouble.

Zack Greinke is the ace without Verlander, but the Astros will also need McCullers, Christian Javier, Jose Urquidy and Framber Valdez to pitch well in his absence if they are going to reach the World Series.