Why Was Justin Verlander Not Playing?

Frank Jones

Why Was Justin Verlander Not Playing

Justin Verlander, a starting pitcher for the Houston Astros, has been a dominant force in Major League Baseball for over a decade. With a career ERA of 3.31 and 3,013 strikeouts, Verlander has been a crucial player for the Astros in recent years.

However, in 2021, Verlander was not playing due to a low-grade teres major muscle strain, which left many fans wondering what had happened to one of the best pitchers in the game.

In this article, we will explore the details of Verlander’s injury, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, as well as the impact of his absence on the Astros. We will also examine the results of his follow-up MRI and what they mean for his future with the team.

Understanding Verlander’s injury and the steps taken to treat it is not only important for fans of the Astros but also for anyone interested in the proper management of athletic injuries.

What is a Teres Major Muscle Strain?

The teres major muscle is a triangular-shaped muscle located in the upper back and connects the shoulder blade to the upper arm bone. This muscle plays a significant role in shoulder rotation and is often used in activities that involve the arms, such as throwing, lifting, and pulling.

Causes of a Teres Major Muscle Strain

A teres major muscle strain is a condition in which the muscle fibers or tendons of the teres major muscle are torn or damaged due to overuse or sudden trauma. This injury can occur due to repetitive overhead activities, improper technique, or sudden jerking movements.

Symptoms of a Teres Major Muscle Strain

The symptoms of a teres major muscle strain can vary depending on the severity of the injury. The most common symptoms include:

  1. Pain in the upper back or shoulder area

  2. Weakness or limited mobility in the affected arm

  3. Stiffness or tightness in the upper back or shoulder

  4. Swelling or bruising in the affected area

  5. Pain that worsens with activity or movements that involve the arm

In severe cases, a teres major muscle strain can cause significant pain and limited range of motion, making it difficult for the affected individual to perform daily activities or sports.

In athletes, this injury can lead to significant time off from competition and can impact their long-term athletic performance if not treated appropriately.

Verlander’s Injury and Diagnosis

When the Injury Occurred?

Justin Verlander’s teres major muscle strain occurred during his Spring Training start against the New York Mets in March 2021. He was pulled from the game after experiencing discomfort in his right triceps.

How the Injury Was Diagnosed?

Verlander’s injury was diagnosed through a physical exam and imaging tests, including an MRI. The medical staff of the Houston Astros determined that he had a low-grade teres major muscle strain, which is a relatively common injury among baseball pitchers.

Severity of the Injury

The severity of Verlander’s injury was classified as low-grade, meaning that there was no significant tearing of the muscle fibers. However, any injury to the teres major muscle can cause pain and discomfort, particularly for a pitcher whose arm is a crucial part of their performance.

As a result, Verlander was placed on the injured list and underwent treatment and rehabilitation to manage the injury and return to the mound as soon as possible.

The injury kept him out for the entire 2021 season, which was a significant setback for both Verlander and the Astros.

Verlander’s Treatment and Rehabilitation

Justin Verlander’s treatment and rehabilitation for his teres major muscle strain included rest and physical therapy. After his diagnosis, he was placed on the injured list and began a program of rest and recovery to allow his muscle to heal.

Physical therapy was also a crucial part of his rehabilitation, focusing on strengthening the muscles surrounding the affected area and improving his range of motion.

Verlander also engaged in exercises to improve his overall shoulder and arm strength, which is vital for his performance as a pitcher.

Follow-up Visits With Medical Staff

During his rehabilitation, Verlander had regular follow-up visits with the medical staff of the Houston Astros. The medical team monitored his progress, adjusting his treatment plan as needed, and making sure that he was on track to return to the field safely.

Verlander also had regular imaging tests to assess the healing of his injury and ensure that there was no further damage to his muscle.

Steps Taken to Prevent Future Injuries

To prevent future injuries, Verlander and his medical team took several steps. These included a modified throwing program that gradually increased the intensity of his pitching to avoid overuse and strain on his muscles.

Verlander also worked with his physical therapists to improve his pitching mechanics and reduce any stress on his arm and shoulder during his delivery.

Additionally, Verlander focused on maintaining overall physical fitness, including cardiovascular and strength training exercises, which is essential for preventing future injuries and improving his performance on the mound.

In summary, Verlander’s treatment and rehabilitation plan involved a combination of rest, physical therapy, follow-up visits with medical staff, and steps taken to prevent future injuries. This approach helped him to manage his injury and return to the field safely and efficiently.

Importance of Verlander to the Houston Astros

Justin Verlander is one of the most accomplished pitchers in Major League Baseball. Over his career, he has amassed impressive statistics, including 226 wins, 3,013 strikeouts, and a career ERA of 3.32.

He has also won several awards, including the American League Cy Young Award in 2011 and 2019.

His Role in the Astros’ Rotation

In addition to his impressive individual statistics, Verlander plays a crucial role in the Houston Astros’ rotation. He is one of the team’s aces, and his ability to pitch deep into games and record strikeouts is essential to the team’s success.

Verlander’s experience and leadership on the mound also make him an important presence in the clubhouse and a mentor to the team’s younger pitchers.

How His Absence Impacts the Team?

Verlander’s absence from the Astros’ rotation in the 2021 season had a significant impact on the team. Without Verlander, the Astros were forced to rely on a less experienced and less effective pitching staff, which put additional pressure on the team’s offense to produce runs.

Verlander’s absence was felt not only in the team’s win-loss record but also in the team’s morale and confidence. His return in 2022 will be a significant boost for the Astros, both on and off the field.

Follow-up Mri and Reduced Inflammation

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the body’s internal structures.

It can be used to visualize soft tissues, such as muscles and tendons, and is commonly used to diagnose and monitor injuries.

Results of Verlander’s Follow-up Mri

In April 2022, Justin Verlander underwent a follow-up MRI, which showed reduced inflammation in his teres major muscle. The results of the MRI were encouraging, suggesting that Verlander’s injury had healed well and that he was on track to return to the mound soon.

The medical staff of the Houston Astros cleared him to continue throwing and gradually increase his pitching intensity.

What the Reduced Inflammation Means for Verlander and the Astros?

The reduced inflammation in Verlander’s teres major muscle is a positive sign for both him and the Astros. It indicates that his rehabilitation and treatment plan were successful in managing his injury and promoting healing.

With Verlander cleared to continue throwing, the Astros can look forward to his return to the rotation, which will provide a significant boost to the team’s pitching staff.

However, it is essential to note that Verlander’s injury is still a concern, and the team will continue to monitor his progress and manage his workload carefully to prevent any further injury.

Justin Verlander Injury and Recovery Summary

InjuryLow-grade teres major muscle strain
DiagnosisLate March 2021
TreatmentRest, physical therapy, gradual return to throwing
Length of absenceEntire 2021 season
Follow-up MRIShowed reduced inflammation in teres major muscle
Return to throwingCleared by medical staff
Importance to AstrosKey member of starting rotation and team leader
ContractSigned through 2023 with player option for 2024
Long-term concernsWill require careful workload management to prevent further injury

Note: This table is intended to provide a quick summary of key information about Justin Verlander’s injury and recovery and is not intended to be comprehensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long was Justin Verlander out of the lineup due to his injury?

Verlander was diagnosed with a low-grade teres major muscle strain in late March 2021 and missed the entire 2021 season.

Was surgery required to treat Verlander’s injury?

No, surgery was not required. Verlander’s treatment plan consisted of rest, physical therapy, and a gradual return to throwing.

Will Verlander be able to return to his pre-injury form?

While there are no guarantees, the reduced inflammation shown on Verlander’s follow-up MRI is a positive sign. If he can continue to progress in his rehabilitation and avoid any further injury, there is reason to believe he can return to his previous level of performance.

How does Verlander’s injury affect his contract with the Astros?

Verlander’s injury does not impact his contract with the Astros. He is signed through the 2023 season with a player option for 2024. However, his injury may affect negotiations for a potential extension beyond that point.

Are there any long-term concerns about Verlander’s injury?

Any injury to a pitcher’s arm or shoulder is a cause for concern, and the Astros will likely monitor Verlander’s workload carefully to prevent any further injury. However, the reduced inflammation shown on his follow-up MRI is a positive sign that he has responded well to treatment and is on track to return to the mound.

To Recap

Justin Verlander’s injury and subsequent absence from the Houston Astros’ rotation in the 2021 season was a significant setback for the team.

However, his rehabilitation and successful follow-up MRI have provided hope for his return in the 2022 season. Verlander’s importance to the team cannot be overstated, both in terms of his individual statistics and his leadership on and off the field.

His return to the rotation will provide a significant boost to the Astros and their chances of competing for a championship.

However, the team will need to manage his workload carefully to prevent any further injury, underscoring the importance of proper rehabilitation and injury management in professional sports.

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