Astros’ Justin Verlander to miss 4-6 weeks after surgery

Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander is expected to need four to six weeks to recover from surgery on his right groin.

The Astros announced Tuesday that Verlander underwent the procedure, but his idle time will be spent while Major League Baseball is on hiatus because of the coronavirus outbreak. MLB is not expected to resume until sometime in May at the earliest.

Verlander, 37, delayed his first start in spring training until March 3 due to discomfort in his right groin. He started two games before spring training was shut down, posting a 3.86 ERA in 4 2/3 innings of work with four strikeouts.

“Initially, the hope was that physical therapy would be the proper course of action,” Astros general manager James Click said. “However, after a recent setback in his rehab, the medical staff recommended that a surgical procedure was necessary. The early prognosis is that Justin will be out for about six weeks.”

Verlander still could be in line to start the first game of the 2020 regular season, depending on his recovery and the timetable baseball follows to return to play.

Houston lost Gerrit Cole to the New York Yankees in free agency. Zack Greinke and Lance McCullers Jr. would be candidates to take the ball Opening Day — whenever it might be — if Verlander is unable to fill the No. 1 role.

Verlander was 21-6 in 2019 with a 2.58 ERA. He won the American League Cy Young Award.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)