Verlander suffered a forearm strain in his first start of the season and has been on the injured list since late July. He was shut down for multiple weeks, but manager Dusty Baker said Saturday the pitcher is "not progressing as quickly as he'd like," per McTaggart.
The latest progress indicates a chance to return this season after some doubt.
The 37-year-old had also corrected an initial report that he would miss the year:
Verlander allowed just two runs in six innings during his lone start this season and has remained a star since joining the Astros in 2017. He won his second career Cy Young award last year while going 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA and 300 strikeouts.
The Astros have had to survive without the eight-time All-Star this season, which is even tougher after losing Gerrit Cole to free agency in the offseason.
Zack Greinke has anchored a young pitching staff with Verlander out, but Houston has struggled to a 7-10 record during the shortened season. It's a major change for a team that had over 100 wins in each of the last three years.
Getting Verlander back at any point will be key in helping the Astros return to contention in the American League.