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Tigers ace Verlander has 'core muscle repair' surgery

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Jon Paul Morosi

Jon Paul Morosi is a National MLB Writer for FOXSports.com. He previously covered baseball for the Detroit Free Press and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He began his journalism career at the Bay City Times in his native Michigan. Follow him on Twitter.

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Justin Verlander has been on the Detroit Tigers’ active roster every day for the past eight seasons, since the moment he made the team as a rookie in 2006.

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That streak is in jeopardy.

The Tigers have announced that Verlander underwent “core muscle repair” surgery Thursday morning. Though the team didn’t describe it as such, the procedure is normally associated with sports hernias and other abdominal injuries.

Verlander, who will turn 31 next month, will be reevaluated after undergoing physical rehabilitation for the next six weeks, the team said.

On that timetable, he will be on a rehab program through at least the first week of spring training. That could put him behind schedule for what would be a seventh straight Opening Day start, but a friend of Verlander’s told FOX Sports that the ace has resolved to be ready for the season opener.

The Tigers said Verlander sustained the injury at the end of December while performing his offseason conditioning routine. But Verlander is expected to participate in spring training and “compete at the beginning of the 2014 season,” according to team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski.

Dr. Bill Meyers performed Verlander’s surgery – just as he did for fellow Tigers star Miguel Cabrera earlier in the offseason. Dombrowski said Meyers viewed Verlander’s injury as being “similar” to that of Cabrera.

If Verlander hadn’t signed a contract extension around this time last year, he might be concerned about the injury’s impact on his market value, as the 2014 season was scheduled to be his final year before free agency. Instead, he has the security of a seven-year, $180 million extension through 2019.

Tagged: Tigers, Justin Verlander

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