Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is progressing well in his recovery from a broken thumb that has kept him out of action for nearly a month. The team announced on Monday that Altuve is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation and is expected to return sooner than initially anticipated.
Altuve suffered the injury while sliding into third base during a game against the Miami Marlins on July 14. The 31-year-old underwent surgery to repair the fracture two days later and was placed on the 10-day injured list. At the time, it was estimated that Altuve would need 4-6 weeks to recover.
However, Altuve’s rehab has gone smoothly, and he has been able to progress through his recovery faster than expected. Astros manager Dusty Baker provided an update on Altuve’s status over the weekend, saying that the five-time All-Star was “doing much better” and that “things are progressing really good.”
Altuve has been hitting and fielding ground balls in recent days and is expected to start running and throwing soon. The Astros have not provided a specific timetable for his return, but there is reason to believe that he could be back in the lineup within the next week or two.
The Astros have managed to play well without Altuve, going 11-7 since he went down with the injury. However, his return would give an already potent lineup a significant boost. Altuve is hitting .275 with five home runs and 28 RBIs in 72 games this season and has been one of the Astros’ most consistent offensive performers over the last decade.
The Astros are currently leading the American League West by 3.5 games over the Oakland Athletics. The return of Altuve would strengthen their chances of making a deep playoff run this season.
Altuve’s injury was a setback for the Astros, but his quicker-than-expected recovery is a positive sign for the team and its fans. If he can return to form quickly, he will be a key contributor down the stretch as the Astros look to make a push for the pennant.