Astros ace Justin Verlander has been placed on the 15-day IL today after an MRI revealed some tearing in the fascial tissue of his right calf. The good news is that there is no muscle damage. The IL stint will be retroactive to August 29, the day after he was injured while covering first base against the Orioles.

Fascial tissue (fascia) is a form of thin connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber and muscle in place, while giving them shape. It consists of multiple layers separated by a liquid called hyaluronan. Fascia stretches as you move, but when it becomes damaged it can become incredibly painful and limit mobility.

Oftentimes, fascia injuries take anywhere from six to eight weeks to heal, so Verlander’s 15-day stint is likely to be extended if the injury is severe. However, the fact that the muscle hasn’t been damaged points to a shorter recovery time.

General manager James Click touched on this in an interview earlier today, saying: “The fact there is no muscle fiber disruption indicates a shorter healing time. The fascia is a different structure in the calf and that appears to be where the disruption is. We will know a lot more about the return timeline once we give the body 48-72 hours to heal. Our hope and our expectation is this should be relatively short-term.”

For now, Verlander being on the 15-day IL points to the Astros taking a cautious approach as they gear up for a Postseason run.

It’s an unfortunate road bump for the 39-year-old righty, who – in his first season back from Tommy John surgery – is the American League Cy Young front-runner. Verlander shares the lead for most wins in MLB (16) and lowest WHIP (0.86), and has the lowest ERA (1.84).

Justin Verlander 2021 Stats