DETROIT — Tigers ace Justin Verlander underwent muscle repair surgery Thursday after injuring himself last month during offseason conditioning.
Dr. Bill Meyers in Philadelphia performed the operation on Verlander, who is expected to need six weeks of rehab before being re-evaluated. The first workout for Detroit's pitchers and catchers at spring training is set for Feb. 14 in Lakeland, Fla. The first spring training game is Feb. 25.
“We fully anticipate Justin will participate in spring training and be in a position to compete at the beginning of the 2014 season,” general manager Dave Dombrowski said in a statement.
The team did not identify the core muscle that was repaired but called the surgery successful. Verlander turns 31 on Feb. 20.
The Tigers said Verlander was hurt at the end of December. There was also a message posted on Verlander's Twitter account: “Thanks for the support regarding my surgery today,” it said. “It went well and now my only focus is to get ready for 2014! #determined”
He went 13-12 last year with a 3.46 ERA for the AL Central champs. He has been Detroit’s opening-day starter for the last six seasons, the longest active streak by a player with one team, according to STATS.
If he isn’t at full strength for the regular-season opener against Kansas City on March 31, the Tigers have Max Scherzer, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner.
16 get spring invite to Tigers’ camp
DETROIT — The Tigers said Thursday that 16 players from their minor-league system will be invited to participate in spring training with the major-league team.
The 16 players include seven pitchers: right-handers Jhan Marinez, Luis Marte, Eduardo Sanchez, and Drew VerHagen and left-handers Duane Below, Blaine Hardy, and Robbie Ray.Four catchers received invitations: Craig Albernaz, Luis Exposito, James McCann, and John Murrian. Infielders Devon Travis and Danny Worth will be with the Tigers, as will outfielders Ezequiel Carrera, Tyler Collins, and Trevor Crowe.
The first full-team workout is set for Feb. 18.