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Verlander in doubt for Astros´ MLB opener: It would take a miracle

March 10 2020 2:20 AM

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander said "it would probably take a miracle" for him to be fit for Opening Day of the MLB season.

Verlander, 37, is in doubt for the start of the season due to a mild right latissimus dorsi strain, the Astros announced on Monday.

There is no timetable for Verlander's return, with the Astros scheduled to face the Los Angeles Angels on March 26.

"I would say it would probably take a miracle to be back by Opening Day," 2017 World Series champion Verlander told reporters.

"But I don't want to leave miracles off the table."

Verlander – the 2011 American League MVP and two-time AL Cy Young Award winner – added: "Talking with doctors and looking at the scans, it's definitely not worst-case scenario.

"Best-case scenario would be [no injury]. It's just probably somewhere in the middle of that."

A strained right triceps sidelined Verlander for the start of the 2015 season but the eight-time All-Star said: "I feel better than I did then, physically. There's a lot of feedback that I've gotten back about lat strains.

"One of the most important things is how you feel physically. I'm trying to be very truthful with myself with this process. I'm trying to recall how I felt in '15. I definitely feel better this time than then."

Last season, Verlander tallied 300 strikeouts with a 21-6 win-loss record in 34 appearances as the Astros reached the World Series before falling to the Washington Nationals.

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