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Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander underwent core muscle surgery

Verlander Justin Verlander is expected to be ready for the start of the season. (Michael Ivins/Getty)

Justin Verlander underwent successful core muscle surgery Thursday, the Detroit Tigers announced on Twitter.

The former MVP will rehab for the next six weeks and then be re-evaluated. The Tigers expect their ace to be ready for Opening Day.

Verlander made his fifth consecutive All-Star Game appearance in 2013, though his 3.46 ERA was his highest since 2008. If Verlander isn't ready by the start of the season, reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer would likely take his spot at the top of the rotation.

Verlander has pitched at least 200 innings every year since 2007, and he struck out more than 215 batters in each of the last five seasons. Last year, Detroit led the majors in team pitching Wins Above Replacement and strikeouts per nine innings.

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