Verlander remains sore, unconcerned about triceps muscle

LAKELAND, Fla. — Both Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and Justin Verlander remained cautiously optimistic about Verlander Saturday morning.

Verlander left Friday’s game with two outs in the third inning because of what was characterized as a cramp in his right triceps muscle.

"Anytime a player leaves with injury, it’s not a good thing," Ausmus said. "But I’m optimistic it’s not a long-term issue."

Verlander was asked about his level of concern at this point.

"Pretty low, especially with the time we have," Verlander said. "Extra day and can even manipulate things forward if need be."

Verlander said his triceps muscle is still sore, he’s been icing the area and did not throw at all Saturday.

"We kind of all assumed I’d be sore today," Verlander said. "It’s really how it bounces back in the next couple days. That’ll tell us a lot more about the injury, I guess, whether it’s a mild strain or whether it was just a cramp. Either way, even if it was just a very mild strain, it’s still, like I said, very mild. It’s nothing that would hold me out for an extended period of time. It would just be a matter of how long it would take to get back to throwing, whether it’s a day or a few days."

Verlander said he did not have an MRI and wasn’t planning to do so.

Verlander believed that both dehydration and his new and improved mechanics might have played a role in the cramp.

In Verlander’s first two innings Friday, despite allowing a home run, the consensus was he looked the best he had all spring.

Now it just remains to be seen whether he’ll be able to build on that part of his outing.

"As of right now, I have no reason not to expect him to pitch in his next start," Ausmus said.

Verlander gets an extra day before his next start, something that had already been scheduled before this happened.

"I would plan to (start)," Verlander said. "I’m optimistic. But I can’t say 100 percent I’m going to."