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Justin Verlander's injury rehab remains ahead of schedule

Pitching coach Jeff Jones confirms his ace's rehab is 'way ahead of schedule' after an off-season injury required surgery.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Verlander is still on track to be fully healthy by the start of the regular season, though the Tigers will be cautious with their 30-year-old ace. Pitching coach Jeff Jones was non-committal as to a recovery timetable, but was upbeat when discussing Verlander's rehab after a core muscle injury required surgery.

"He’s doing fine. It’s a process, but I think he’s way ahead of schedule. We’ll just have to play it by ear, see how he feels and progress from there."

His teammates are just as optimistic. Phil Coke couldn't give any details, but his eyes tell him the big right-hander is rounding into shape.

"He seems to be progressing at a good rate, especially for somebody who takes care of himself as well as he does. He’s right on track as far as I know, but I don’t know the details of his day-to-day or any of that stuff."

Fellow lefty reliever Duane Below echoed Coke's thoughts.

"I know what I see, and I see J.V. getting himself back in the saddle as quickly as he can."

Below continued, saying Verlander is doing all the right things.

I see him working out today and busting his butt and throwing. I know he’s come a long way and it’s going to be fun to see."

When the Tigers announced Verlander had undergone surgery on January 9 after injuring himself during off-season conditioning exercises, the prognosis was six weeks of rehab.With spring training due to start this Thursday, February 13, the timetable appears to have been right on the money.

Neither the team or Verlander have named the specific injury, other than calling it a core muscle. The same doctor who had Verlander go under the knife performed a similar procedure to correct Miguel Cabrera's groin injury. From all accounts, Cabrera is also on track to be fully healthy by the start of the regular season.