HOUSTON -- Astros third baseman Alex Bregman who’s been on the injured list since straining his left quadriceps June 16 while running the bases, took batting practice on the field for the first time since the injury on Wednesday and is running at 85-90 percent of max effort as he nears a Minor League rehab assignment.
“I think the biggest thing is running,” Bregman said. “Whenever I’m ready to run, I’m going to be back playing in the lineup. Hitting, none of that bothers my quad. For right now it’s just building up and following this progression so I can get my legs underneath me. We’re moving in the right direction.”
Bregman said two more intense running days could be the final hurdle before going out on assignment, and he’s already checked the schedule at Triple-A Sugar Land. The Skeeters are in Albuquerque, N.M., -- Bregman’s hometown -- July 15-20.
“I’m not pushing it, but whenever I’m healthy enough to return is when I’ll return,” he said. “We’re playing it day by day and progressing the running. It’s going a lot better than originally thought. I’m happy with the progress, but you never know. I might get to go see Mom and Dad [in Albuquerque].”
Bregman is feeling so good that he said if the playoffs were underway, he’d be playing. But Bregman is taking extra to time to ensure the quad and hamstring injuries that have slowed him the last couple of years don’t reoccur. Bregman admitted he wasn’t healthy enough to run at 100 percent at the start of the year.
“We’ve got a plan in place and we’re going to do everything possible to never let this happen again,” he said. “I’m sitting in there wishing I was up to hit every single time. It’s super tough. I could have played a little while ago, but I would have been running how I was running at the beginning of the year.”
Bregman has dealt with soft tissue injuries to his legs for the last couple of years. Last year, he missed 17 games after straining his right hamstring while running the bases Aug. 19 in Colorado. He strained his right hamstring in April 2019 and missed two games. In September 2016 -- at the end of his rookie year -- he missed two weeks after straining his hamstring running the bases.
“Hopefully a few games [for Sugar Land] I'll be back at it and ready to tear it up in the second half,” he said.