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Correa encouraged by how his back feels

@brianmctaggart
September 28, 2019

ANAHEIM -- Speaking for the first time since the team announced he would miss the final five games of the regular season because of his stiff back, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa said Saturday he’s encouraged with how he felt when he woke up, and he is still aiming to be

ANAHEIM -- Speaking for the first time since the team announced he would miss the final five games of the regular season because of his stiff back, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa said Saturday he’s encouraged with how he felt when he woke up, and he is still aiming to be in the lineup for Friday’s Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park.

Correa, who was on the injured list from Aug. 20-Sept. 17 because of a stiff back, was scratched from the starting lineup Tuesday in Seattle and hasn’t played since. He saw a doctor on Thursday in Los Angeles.

“He said I should be good to go for the playoffs,” Correa said. “I woke up today feeling really good. Today is a great day, a positive day. It gave me a lot of confidence moving forward.”

Postseason schedule

Still, Correa is going to have to go through a few days of baseball activities during the team’s workouts next week in Houston to prove to manager AJ Hinch he’s physically able to play. He’s yet to get on the field since Tuesday and likely won’t until the team works out next Tuesday.

“Definitely, when we’re in Houston, we’re going to ramp it up and make sure I’m ready for Friday,” Correa said.

If Correa isn’t ready to go for the ALDS, the Astros would likely leave him off their ALDS roster in favor of another infielder, like Abraham Toro. Those are decisions that don't need to be made until Thursday, so Correa has several days to get ready.

“The way I woke up today, if the playoff started tomorrow, I’d probably be in the lineup,” he said.

Correa, 25, hit .279 with 21 homers and 59 RBIs this year and hit two home runs Sept. 20 against the Angels in his second game back off the IL. He missed 50 games from May 27-July 21 after he broke a rib while getting a massage at his home.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.