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Detroit's Verlander says he was able to throw off mound

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LAKELAND, Fla. - Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander says he threw about 20 pitches off a mound on Monday.

Verlander spoke with reporters Tuesday and said he didn't have any pain in his groin and hip. The right-hander had surgery on Jan. 9.

The 30-year-old Verlander says he hurt his groin doing squats, and that he also had what was believed to be a pre-existing abdominal problem.

Verlander says he would like to pitch in five spring training games, if possible, but there is also a plan for if he is unable to do that.

Verlander went 13-12 with a 3.46 ERA last year for the AL Central champions.

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