MRI confirms right triceps strain for Verlander

Tigers ace in holding pattern as lingering soreness followed shortened simulated game

MRI confirms right triceps strain for Verlander

DETROIT -- Justin Verlander's lingering soreness after his simulated game last week was enough of a concern that he underwent an MRI exam. Results confirmed the standing diagnosis of a right triceps strain, according to Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand.

The MRI exam took place Thursday, among other tests. The Tigers had avoided an MRI previously because the triceps strain wasn't in an area that concerned them about possible structural damage.

"Everybody thinks it's taking a little bit longer. We've kind of never really put out there how long it was going to be," Rand said Monday. "We just said we're taking various steps as he progressed. When he wasn't able to make a step that we wanted, that's when we decided to do diagnostic testing at that point in time, because he gave us a little bit more concern. But it turned out everything was as we had expected."

Asked if Verlander has had any tests and a second opinion, Rand said, "We've done tests on him. We've done testing, and we've had multiple opinions."

Verlander has not had an opinion from Dr. James Andrews at this point.

Verlander remains in a holding pattern in his throwing program, Rand said. He won't throw again until he no longer has injury symptoms in his arm. That puts his timetable further away than originally hoped Wednesday, when he faced hitters in a simulated game at Pittsburgh's PNC Park.

Verlander was expected to throw four innings, totaling about 60 pitches. He threw just three innings, but said at the time that he cut his session short due to fatigue rather than soreness. Instead of scheduling another simulated game or a rehab start, however, he was shut down from throwing with lingering soreness.

Lobstein's winning start

Kyle Lobstein will make his second start in Verlander's place Tuesday against the Yankees. The Tigers have not committed to any starts beyond that, or for as long as Verlander's out. Lobstein gave up three runs on eight hits in five innings April 12 at Cleveland.

"Right now, he's the guy," manager Brad Ausmus said. "I guess we'll have to see how it goes."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.