|By Keith Allison, via Wikimedia Commons|
"My goal now is the start of the season. Whether that's Game 1 or what, I don't know, but I intend to be ready.... I'm starting to get to that period now in my rehab where I can start to, as long as I feel OK, just kind of do more and more. Knock on wood, I haven't had any problems."Verlander is the Tigers' ace for a reason. He has a career record of 137-77, 3.41 ERA, 1.315 WHIP, 8.9 K/9 ratio, and average WAR of 4.5 in nine years since 2005, all with Detroit. He has made six A.L. All-Star teams and won both the Cy Young and MVP awards in 2011 (24-5, 2.40 ERA, 8.4 WAR).
The Tigers have the pitching and the offense to overcome a short-term Verlander absence, but they definitely want their ace ready as soon as possible. For Verlander, that could be Opening Day or very soon after.