The Houston Astros win against the Seattle Mariners is bittersweet as the season opener was pitcher Justin Verlander’s last appearance in 2020. Verlander announced over the weekend that he’s going to undergo Tommy John surgery for the damage in his elbow.
Recovery for Tommy John surgery varies between players, but they usually take 12 to 15 months to recover and return to the field after the procedure. This means that Verlander will miss the remainder of the 2020 season and that he may also miss the entire 2021 season.
Verlander was attempting a comeback last week, as the 37-year-old pitcher hadn’t seen the mound since July due to a forearm strain. During his comeback, he felt “stiffness” in his elbow and a doctor advised him to have the surgery.
“I truly believe everything happens for a reason,” Verlander said in a video posted on Instagram. “And although 2020 has sucked, hopefully when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”
The Astros’ pitcher still has two years left on his overall deal with the Astros and he’ll be a free agent in 2022. This means that this could have potentially been Verlander’s last game with the team.
Verlander joined the Astros in 2017 and he’s played some of the best baseball of his career. His record since arriving in Houston is 43-15 record with 2.45 ERA and 640 strikeouts. He’s also had two All-Star appearances and in 2019, he won the Cy Young award.