Justin Verlander Optimistic About Career, As Tommy John Surgery Looms

The Astros ace isn't expected to return until 2022

Justin Verlander hopes going under the knife will help him enhance his legacy.

The Houston Astros pitcher will undergo Tommy John surgery, and his recovery timetable rules him out of most, if not all of the 2021 Major League Baseball season. He had hoped to return from injury in the coming days or weeks, but he suffered a setback this week while throwing in a simulated game. Nevertheless, Verlander, 37, vowed Saturday on Instagram to return and pitch at a high level for years to come.

“… Obviously I’m extremely disappointed, but I will not let this slow down my aspirations for my career,” he said. “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.”

Verlander hasn’t pitched since July 24 due to an elbow injury. The two-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time All-Star will be sidelined in a contract year, making his medium- and long-term futures uncertain.

Who’s willing to bet against Verlander returning to elite status at this point?

Thumbnail photo via Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo/USA TODAY Sports Images

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