Justin Verlander raises alarm with latest update on Astros ace’s injury

Will Justin Verlander be ready to pitch for the Houston Astros on Opening Day?

Championship Series - Houston Astros v Texas Rangers - Game Five
Championship Series - Houston Astros v Texas Rangers - Game Five / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

At 41 years old, Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander is still one of the best starting pitchers in baseball, but it’s taking a toll on his body and getting harder to maintain such a high level of play at this stage in his career.

Recently, Verlander said he experienced a “hiccup” in his offseason regimen, citing soreness in his shoulder as what’s bothering him, which has raised questions about his availability for Opening Day.

Verlander has been attempting to work through the ailment, throwing in multiple bullpen sessions since. However, his most recent comments paint a less-than-optimistic picture, further muddling his status for MLB’s Opening Day on Mar. 28.

Astros Justin Verlander casts Opening Day doubt with latest injury update

“We’ve still got time,” Verlander said via Astros MLB.com beat reporter Brian McTaggart. “Obviously, it’s tight, but things are progressing. It’s kind of like the same as I’m doing with my rehab right now – day by day. We’re not even looking a week or two weeks out, and it’s hard to forecast anything past that,” he added.

While he couldn't provide a definitive timetable for his clean bill of health, Verlander told McTaggart that he feels he has progressed with every mound appearance during Spring Training.

The Astros host the New York Yankees on 2024 Opening Day at Minute Maid Park, and Verlander’s status bears watching in the coming weeks leading up to the game.

It’s too early to tell whether or not the Astros will have their MVP-winning, three-time Cy Young ace on the mound for their inaugural game against the Bronx Bombers as of now, but his latest update is far from encouraging.

At this rate, it would not be shocking to see Houston take a cautious approach with their aging ace in preparation for what they hope will be a long season after reaching the ALCS last year.

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