Verlander cleared to resume throwing
Justin Verlander has been cleared to begin a throwing program again. The former Cy Young award-winner, sidelined since late March with a right triceps strain, received the go-ahead after doctors reviewed his MRI exam Tuesday and decided inflammation had sufficiently subsided.
Verlander all but announced the news himself through his Instagram account.
— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) May 6, 2015
The Tigers later confirmed, saying he was examined by Dr. Tony Romeo on Wednesday to review the results.
“He was given the clearance to resume a throwing program designed to return him to full competition,” the team’s statement said.
It’s still a long way from throwing in a game, and manager Brad Ausmus acknowledged last week that Verlander likely faces a lengthy minor-league rehab assignment once he’s ready for game action. Still, the clearance means he can at least start making progress.
Verlander has been undergoing near-weekly MRIs since cutting his simulated game in Pittsburgh short three weeks ago and experiencing soreness afterward. Team officials insisted Verlander wouldn’t begin a throwing progression again until the MRI shows no fluid around the triceps, indicating that inflammation is gone. It’s an unusual approach to what Verlander calls an unusual injury, but they’re trying to avoid any more stops and starts.
“I’m itching,” Verlander said Tuesday afternoon after the exam. “I told [head athletic trainer] Kevin [Rand] if I get that green light, man, it’s going to be hard to hold me back. I’m ready to go.”
Wednesday’s tweet was a clear reference to the green light.
Three doctors — one with the team — have been looking over Verlander’s tests and progress reports and making recommendations, Verlander said Tuesday. That process held up any decision on Verlander’s Tuesday test results until Wednesday morning.
In the meantime, Verlander has been doing exercises as well as “extremely light” tossing, as Ausmus put it, meant more to keep Verlander occupied.