Baseball / Sports

Tigers' Verlander encouraged by throwing, shoots down DL possibility

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. -- Justin Verlander threw for about 10 minutes from about 60 feet out on the field at Tropicana Field on Tuesday afternoon and said afterward he was encouraged by how his arm felt.

"Definitely felt a whole lot better," Verlander said. "There wasn't that can't-get-loose feeling. Arm felt loose and felt good. Felt like a normal kind of taking six days off or however many days off. There's going to be some little kinks in there, but as far as shoulder to join mobility and how it felt getting loose, it felt much better."

Verlander couldn't put a number on how many pitches he threw.

"I worked past the stage where it would have really started bothering me," Verlander said. "It felt like I could get loose much easier. So good sign."

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said the plan is to see how Verlander feels on Wednesday. Verlander said he wouldn't throw a bullpen session until Thursday.

"It'll either be Thursday or no bullpen and just pray that I have a decent feel on Saturday," Verlander said.

Asked about the possibility of still going on the disabled list if he's not able to start on Saturday, Verlander said: "That's not even crossed my mind."

Verlander said it's normal to feel some kinks after having time off.

"I expect it to get a little bit better every day," he said. "What's been bothering me mostly is the getting loose, and I feel like that wouldn't have been an issue today."

Verlander said he had three second opinions and all came back with the general consensus of the original diagnosis, shoulder inflammation and no structural damage.

"I think I'll know more as it goes along," Verlander said. "I'll know more tomorrow and I'll probably know a lot more on Thursday. Judging how I felt and how pretty much every pitcher feels after taking some time off, working back into your throwing, it takes a few days for your arm to loosen back up and feel natural throwing again. Hopefully that's just a natural process.

"My arm's not going to feel like it did when I was 20 years old again. But being able to get loose without pain and being able to get through that threshold where I go from just tossing to throwing, that took me half an hour on game days."

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