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Third MRI on tap for Verlander

MLB.com @beckjason

KANSAS CITY -- Justin Verlander will undergo his third MRI during the Tigers' trip to Chicago next week in order to gauge whether the inflammation in his strained right triceps is subsiding.

Doctors gauge the inflammation by the amount of fluid gathered around the triceps. Verlander is expected to undergo periodic MRIs until the fluid is gone, at which point he'll be cleared to move ahead in his rehab.

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KANSAS CITY -- Justin Verlander will undergo his third MRI during the Tigers' trip to Chicago next week in order to gauge whether the inflammation in his strained right triceps is subsiding.

Doctors gauge the inflammation by the amount of fluid gathered around the triceps. Verlander is expected to undergo periodic MRIs until the fluid is gone, at which point he'll be cleared to move ahead in his rehab.

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It's an unusual step, but there's a purpose.

"What they're looking for is fluid in the area where the problem was," manager Brad Ausmus said. "Because in this area, you may feel pain-free and not realize there's still fluid in that area until you get to that very last step. Doing the MRI is to try to see physically that the fluid is gone before [he starts] throwing."

Verlander's MRI last week showed fluid, but less than the MRI before that, taken shortly after his simulated game in Pittsburgh. Verlander cut that effort short due to what he called fatigue, but also experienced soreness afterward.

Verlander again played what Ausmus called "extremely light toss" on Thursday, as he did on Tuesday. It's not so much a rehab progression as it is an activity.

"He didn't feel anything," Ausmus said, "but I don't know if he was throwing hard enough to feel anything. ... I think that's more so he doesn't go stir crazy."

• Though reliever Al Alburquerque is available to pitch out of the bullpen, he continues to have problems with discomfort in his eyes. He's expected to see a doctor on Friday to determine the problem now that the sinus infection he had been battling appears to have cleared up.

Alburquerque no longer has blurred vision, and his sinus headaches are gone.

"I'm seeing fine, just a little sore," Alburquerque said. "I've been blinking a lot."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.

Detroit Tigers, Justin Verlander