Justin Verlander threw four simulated innings on Tuesday

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Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander took what might be the final step before a rehab assignment Tuesday afternoon at Oakland’s O.co Coliseum, throwing four innings of simulated action without experiencing any discomfort in his right triceps.

According to beat writer Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press, the veteran allowed zero runs on three hits and one walk. He struck out eight, but it should be noted that Verlander was facing a group of teammates and it was a pretty loose environment. He even simulated the national anthem before he began pitching, holding his cap next to his heart in front of the mound for a minute.

Verlander has been out all season with a right triceps strain, but he’s now finally trending in the right direction. If he can avoid further setbacks, the 32-year-old should be ready to make his 2015 debut in mid-to-late June.