Detroit — No regimen has been established yet for Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander’s recovery from shoulder soreness. In fact, the diagnostic period remains on-going.
Verlander, who was scheduled to be re-examined by Tigers physician Dr. Stephen Lemos on Wednesday, said the MRI results were being sent to other doctors outside the organization for second and third opinions.
“It seems like the initial prognosis is as good as I could’ve hoped for and as good as the team could’ve hoped for,” he said. “I will talk to the doctors today, move forward and come up with a game plan. I don’t know how long they want me to rest. But with what we are looking at now, the plan is not to go on the DL, which is good.
“I have never been on the DL in my career and I don’t plan to be now.”
Verlander will miss his next scheduled start, which would have been Sunday against Seattle. Robbie Ray will get that start. Verlander’s next start after that would be Aug. 22 at Minnesota.
“It’s going to be a combination of the doctors and (head athletic trainer) Kevin Rand,” manager Brad Ausmus said when asked who would determine Verlander’s recovery plan.
“We are still waiting on some diagnosis from other doctors to make sure we’re all in agreement and headed in the right direction.”
Ausmus was asked about the possibility of surgery.
“That’s not even being considered at this point,” Ausmus said. “We have other doctors looking at the pictures. If they don’t see something different, then we can all be in agreement on what the next step should be and what the time frame should be.”
The initial MRI taken Tuesday in Detroit showed no structural damage to the shoulder. That doesn’t mean something wasn’t wrong, as Verlander explained.
“There was some wear and tear, structurally,” he said. “They are saying my shoulder is good, structure-wise, but yeah, there is some wear and tear stuff going on. That’s just natural for anybody who has pitched for any length of time. They aren’t saying nothing was going on. They are saying my shoulder is as good as could be expected for someone who’s been pitching in this league for 10 years.”
Verlander hinted Monday that the shoulder had been bothering him well before coming out of the game. But on Wednesday he refused to discuss how long he was dealing with it. Ausmus wouldn’t, either, though he said he wouldn’t have been shocked if Verlander tried to play through the pain.
“He takes a lot of pride in pitching every five days,” Ausmus said. “I know for a fact if it had been bothering him for an extended period of time, he would keep it to himself so he could post every fifth day. He’s old school in that regard.”
Ausmus admitted it was a delicate line for a manager to walk, especially with the ace of his staff.
“You always want to know how a player is feeling but you also love players who are willing to play through a little ache and pain,” he said.
Verlander was clearly frustrated that Ausmus pulled him after one inning Monday.
“That was the toughest game I ever had to watch in my career, because I know the team needed me,” Verlander said. “I tried to gut it out. I wanted to stay out there but Brad wouldn’t let me. After I had time to calm down and think about it, it was the right decision.”