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Verlander's triceps remains sore; he's optimistic on next start

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Lakeland, Fla. — No news wasn't good news, but it wasn't necessarily bad news either. At least regarding Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander and his sore triceps.

"It's similar," he said Saturday morning. "The level of concern is the same, low, especially with the time I have."

Verlander left his start in the third inning Friday with what the Tigers think is a cramp in his right triceps. He was not scheduled to throw Saturday and has an extra day before his next scheduled spring start — which is Thursday.

"I am optimistic I am going to make that start but I can't say 100 percent that I am going to," he said.

Verlander would typically throw a bullpen Monday or Tuesday in preparation for his next start. Manager Brad Ausmus said that wasn't going to happen.

"He was a little sore today and he took treatment," he said. "We will see how it is tomorrow, but he won't throw a bullpen. He'll probably toss in a day or two to see how it feels. But he's not going to throw bullpen before his next start, whether he's ready or not."

Said Verlander: "We all kind of assumed I would be sore today. It's really just how it bounces back in the next couple of days. That will tell us a lot about the injury — whether it's a mild strain or a cramp."

Trainer Kevin Rand hasn't completely ruled out the possibility that it is a mild strain and not a cramp — but he told Ausmus the affected part of the arm was the triceps.

"It could be a strain," Ausmus said. "But if it is a strain, it's an extremely mild one. But it is definitely the triceps. It's an odd spot, not unheard of, but an odd spot for a pitcher to have an injury."

There is still no plans for an MRI.

"Kevin has been doing this a long time and if he thought an MRI was necessary, or if Justin asked for one or was that concerned about it, we'd do one," Ausmus said. "We're not there. If this lingers a week or so, we might do one at that point."

The plan for now is that Verlander will make his next start.

"It's nothing that would put me out for an extended period of time," Verlander said. "It would just be a matter of how long it would take to get back to throwing — a day or a few days."

Chris McCosky on Twitter @cmccosky