The Houston Astros already lost Gerrit Cole to free agency. Now they may be without co-ace Justin Verlander for a time too: general manager James Click just announced that Verlander has a strained lat muscle. He has been shut down.

Verlander left yesterday’s spring training game after just two innings and manager Dusty Baker described it as a sore triceps. Baker is no doctor, obviously, and the people who are obviously found something worse than that. Though perhaps not terrible, as Click said it was a mild strain and that “by and large, the news we got today was on the positive side.” Still, there is no timetable at the moment for Verlander’s return and no sense if he’ll be ready to answer the bell when the season starts.

Updates on Verlander’s prognosis, obviously, when they come.

UPDATE:

Justin Verlander: “I would say it would probably take a miracle for me to be back by Opening Day.”

— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) March 9, 2020

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