Astro's Justin Verlander says that wife Kate Upton saved his life during depression triggered by injuries and career slump
After injuring his shoulder, Verlander had struggled to keep up with his performance in the season, however he is thankful to his wife for standing by him in his hardships.
Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander is thankful to his wife Kate Upton for helping him get through his phases of depression as he went through injuries and a career slump post 2014 season, claiming that he probably wouldn't be around had she not been there. “Who knows if I’m even here if it wasn’t for her?” he said, making a remarkable comeback from a hernia injury that threatened to end his career. Verlander was required to take bilateral sports hernia repair surgery, during which time Upton, who he was seeing then, was the first one to visit him.
As Verlander recalls during an interview with Bleacher Report, the two had spent their time playing games and throwing things around upon losing. The 2014 season was a painful one for Verlander as he tried to make his way back to the game. However, with every game that he pitched his shoulder took a worse shape, and his performance too declined. During the last season at Pittsburgh, Verlander was instructed by his coach to get an MRI done.
The 31-year-old player feared that his shoulder might require surgery which could possibly end his career in sports. However, it was during this time that Upton, who he married in November 2017, turned out to be his biggest support. "She was instrumental in me not…like, jumping off a bridge. I was depressed and kind of just upset at the world and trying to hide my own shit.” He realized that he needed her the most as she was someone he could talk to.
"I don’t like to talk to people about being hurt. As athletes, you’re not supposed to. It’s an excuse. … But she was someone I could talk to. I mean, basically a therapist...Somebody I could trust with … worries about my career. Worries about, Can I make it? Worries about what I’m going through to get back. And just the overall shittiness of it all.”
Verlander confessed that Upton must have faced a lot more criticisms than he has, specifically after her swimsuit cover photo on Sports Illustrated in 2012 following which several people body-shammed her. "She obviously had dealt with more than me in her life,” Verlander said.
“I mean, being a woman? Being in that industry? Being that famous? That was a level I hadn’t dealt with.” Fortunately, the MRI did not show any structural damage on Verlander's shoulder. “It was basically every type of tendinitis, tendinosis, that you can think of,” he says. “Which, I was so relieved. I mean, just—wow. Holy shit. I’m not dead.”