After eight full major league seasons unimpeded by injuries, Justin Verlander went under the knife two weeks ago to repair his core muscle and was slated for a six week recovery before being reevaluated. Today, Dave Dombrowski walked back any expectations that Verlander would be ready for Opening Day, per Chris Iott of MLive.com.
While acknowledging that Verlander is doing well, Dombrowski also said that, "If he misses any time of the season, it would only be a very short time period. I'm not ready to say that he will. But he's doing very well."
Dombrowski went on to say that:
"We don't want him to push too hard. We want him to follow the doctor's schedule. He's been under the doctor's guidance. He's stayed there so far. He's been doing phenomenal. He's already moving around. They say he's at the point where he might start doing some movement drills and all beginning next week."
Verlander was not in attendance at the event. The Tigers' pitchers and catchers are due to report for Spring Training on February 13, with Opening Day, something Verlander hasn't missed in years, slated for March 31. The Tigers ace signed a 7 years, $180 million extension prior to 2013 and has not pitched fewer than 200 innings in a season since his rookie campaign in 2006.