Canham was not around the program when Verburg was last healthy, but he has heard from those who caught him and met him how impressive a matchup he was.
“I’ve heard the legend of what he brought to the table, how tough he was – not just with his stuff, but as a competitor,” said Canham. “When I saw him last week, went out and threw live, there is a competitive animal right there. He’s going to be able to go out there and get a lot of outs. ”
Instead of opting for the traditional Tommy John surgery that many players undergo to replace a torn UCL, Verburg opted for an alternative procedure that repaired the damaged tendon, instead of replacing it with a graft. He did not care to share exactly what the operation entailed, but he said that the specialist who operated on him never caused a patient to be torn.
Verburg had to undergo a follow-up procedure which he said was “just a quick clean-up” and says he is happy with the path he took to recover.
Along that road, however, there were many difficult moments. Throughout his life, Verburg’s competitive nature has given him an advantage on the baseball field. But during the tedious rehabilitation process, that competitiveness was sometimes a nuisance; there is no way to just “compete” through the pain and suffering that follows a major surgery, and Verburg often had to choke back on the aggressive mentality that helped him become the player he is.