HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) -- The Astros will not be getting their ace back this season.
Justin Verlander announced Saturday he would need Tommy John surgery, meaning he's out for the remainder of this season and likely all of 2021.
Verlander on Instagram said he felt something in his elbow during his simulated game earlier this week and it's been determined Tommy John is the best route.
The Astros have been without Verlander since after Opening Day, when his forearm/elbow led to him being placed on the injured list.
There was hope he might be able to return before the end of the season, though reports indicated that was unlikely.
The Houston Chronicle's Chandler Rome reported in July that Verlander would be out for the season, but the pitcher on social media refuted the report.
Verlander pitched in a simulated game at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday against some of the Astros' reserves. The outing clearly did not go as planned.
"Obviously, this is not good news," Verlander said on Instagram. "However, I'm gonna handle this the only way that I know how. I'm going to be optimistic. I'm gonna put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully come out the other side better for it.
"I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Although 2020 has sucked, hopefully when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career."
Tommy John surgery knocks Verlander out for 2021, which is the last year of his contract with the Astros.
Verlander said he tried as hard as he could to return this season, but his body simply would not cooperate. He said the silver lining is he gets to spend time with his young daughter and family.
Now, the Astros can prepare for a playoff stretch without Verlander.
As of Saturday afternoon, Houston (25-26) is three games ahead of the Seattle Mariners for the second playoff spot in the American League West.