Justin Verlander will spend at least a "couple of weeks" on the sidelines due to a forearm injury, while the Houston Astros ace denied he will miss the rest of the MLB season.
Verlander – a two-time American League (AL) Cy Young Award winner and 2017 World Series champion – has been shut down for a fortnight after Saturday's MRI revealed a right forearm strain.
Speaking after Sunday's 7-6 loss to the Seattle Mariners, Astros manager Dusty Baker said: "He's shut down for a couple of weeks, and we'll re-evaluate at that time. That's all I can tell you."
Verlander featured for Houston on Opening Day – claiming the 226th win of his career after giving up two runs in six innings as the Astros topped the Mariners 8-2 on Friday.
The 2011 AL MVP and eight-time All-Star was scheduled to pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.
The report that I’m currently missing the rest of the season is not accurate. There is a forearm strain... I’m hopeful that with some rest it will heal and I’ll be able to return soon. Thank you for all the well wishes.— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) July 26, 2020
"It was a shock to all of us," Baker said, after the Astros fell to 2-1 for the season, which has been reduced to a 60-game regular campaign amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's not a pleasant situation to think about Verlander or thinking about how many young players we have in the bullpen and organisation, but we'll go back to the drawing board."
There have been reports that Verlander could sit out the remainder of the season but the 37-year-old used social media to shoot down the speculation.
"The report that I'm currently missing the rest of the season is not accurate," Verlander wrote via Twitter. "There is a forearm strain...
"I'm hopeful that with some rest it will heal and I'll be able to return soon. Thank you for all the well wishes."