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Astros ace Justin Verlander has stunning announcement of Tommy John surgery, will miss season

Justin Verlander, Astros, Tigers

Houston Astros star right-handed pitcher Justin Verlander took to Instagram early on Saturday afternoon to announce the stunning development of a forthcoming Tommy John surgery, abruptly ending his 2020 MLB season—and possibly ending the 2021 campaign before it started.

“After consulting with several of the best doctors, it has become clear that I need Tommy John surgery,” Verlander, 37, wrote in the caption to a video posted on Instagram today.

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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.

A post shared by Justin Verlander (@justinverlander) on

Verlander, a former AL MVP, two-time Cy Young winner and World Series champion with the Astros back in the now-controversial 2017 season, has been the bedrock of Houston’s starting pitching rotation since the monumental trade brought him from his longtime Detroit Tigers to the AL West club.

“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.”

The announcement of Tommy John surgery for Verlander comes on the heels of a simulated game the veteran ace pitched at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday. In the video he posted, Verlander explains hearing “something in [his] elbow” during the simulated game. Verlander made only one start during the abbreviated 2020 baseball season due to “forearm strain” and was hopeful to return to the Astros.

In a shake-up to the postseason due to the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the MLB season, the top two teams in each division are clinching a playoff berth this year, with the Astros currently second behind the Oakland Athletics in the AL West.

Losing Verlander hurts not only this season’s quest for redemption in the postseason for the Astros but potentially Houston’s aspirations for a World Series next season as Tommy John season may see Verlander shut down if not all then most of 2021.