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Justin Verlander OK after session

Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander is expected to make his first start of the spring Thursday, manager Brad Ausmus said.

Verlander, who had core muscle surgery in January following a groin injury, threw a 30-pitch bullpen session Sunday.

"I think the feeling from the get-go was that, because of the type of shape he kept himself in, this was a guy that might have the ability to be back in time to start the regular season," Ausmus said. "It seems like he's on track for that right now."

The Tigers play the Philadelphia Phillies' split squad Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.