MLB: Astros blow as ace pitcher Justin Verlander to miss several weeks

MLB Houston Astros Justin Verlander
Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros (Bob Levey / Getty Images / AFP)

Reigning American League Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander was sidelined Sunday with a right arm injury, dealing a crucial blow to the Houston Astros' pitching rotation.

Manager Dusty Baker said right-hander Verlander was expected to miss several weeks with a strained right forearm, but dispelled fears that he might be out for the rest of the season.

"He's shut down for a couple weeks and we'll re-evaluate after that time," Baker said. 

Verlander took to social media to deny speculation that he would be out long term. 

"The report that I'm currently missing the rest of the season is not accurate," Verlander said. 

"There is a forearm strain... I'm hopeful that with some rest it will heal and I'll be able to return soon. Thank you for all the well wishes." 

The 37-year-old Verlander earned a victory over the Seattle Mariners in a 73-pitch performance on Friday. 

He gave up two runs on three hits in six innings while walking one and striking out seven in the 8-2 win in Houston. 

Verlander also won the American League Cy Young Award with the Detroit Tigers in 2011.