Astros manager Dusty Baker told reporters Wednesday that Verlander, who underwent surgery March 17, is "doing great" in his rehabilitation. Verlander thought he wouldn't be ready to return by opening day, but with the coronavirus pandemic delaying the start of the season, it is likely he will be healthy whenever MLB resumes its 2020 campaign.
"He was having a little trouble on and off, and it kind of messes with your head in spring training when you feel great one day and the next day you don't and the next day you feel back," Baker said. "So this has actually, probably, been a blessing in disguise for him."
Verlander experienced the groin issue early in spring training. His first start was delayed until March 3 because of the discomfort in his right groin.
Verlander then exited his second start on March 8 due to a strained back muscle. In his two starts this spring, he recorded a 3.86 ERA in 4 2/3 innings.
Verlander, who turned 37 in February, posted a 2.58 ERA over an MLB-high 223 innings last season. The eight-time All-Star and two-time AL Cy Young Award winner had a 21-6 record and recorded a career-best 300 strikeouts in 2019.