The 35-year-old MLB player gushed over Upton, 26, in an interview with Bleacher Report published on Thursday, August 9.
“Who knows if I’m even here if it wasn’t for her?” Verlander told the outlet of his comeback following multiple injuries that led to a potential career-ending bilateral sports hernia surgery. He added, “I really thought it was the end.”
Verlander successfully underwent the surgery in 2014 and recovered with Upton by his side, but the media and fans alike were often not kind to the athlete, putting his spirit in a downward spiral.
“She was instrumental in me not … like, jumping off a bridge,” Verlander said of Upton’s support through the criticism. “I was depressed and kind of just upset at the world and trying to hide my own sh-t.”
He continued: “F—k, man, she was what I needed. 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 sh-tiness of it all.”
The couple went on to marry in November 2017 just three days after Verlander helped his team, the Houston Astros, defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the World Series. Last month, the two revealed that they’re expecting their first child together. After Upton announced the news in an Instagram picture showing off her baby bump, her doting husband excitedly shared his emotion.
“You’re going to be the most amazing Mom!! I can’t wait to start this new journey with you! You’re the most thoughtful, loving, caring, and strong woman I’ve ever met!” he wrote alongside the same photo via Instagram. “I’m so proud that our little one is going to be raised in this world by a woman like you! I love you so much.”
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