HOUSTON -- The sight of All-Star outfielder George Springer joking with his teammates and laughing on the field prior to Thursday’s game against the Mariners was a welcoming sign for the Astros. Springer, who crashed into the wall making a catch Tuesday in Milwaukee, has been diagnosed with a concussion with mild symptoms and will miss just a few games.
Astros manager AJ Hinch on Thursday said Springer, who had to be removed from the game on a cart, will have to be cleared by doctors before he can play, but that could happen in the next few days.
“He’s doing well and in good spirits,” Hinch said. “Until he’s cleared medically, he’s not going to play. He’s going to do a lot of pregame activity and stuff behind the scenes. He’s been on the bike. He’s going to play catch and stretch. He’s out there joking around so I know he’s feeling really good. That’s a good sign. He said he slept the best he’s slept in the last couple of days, which is a good sign. Just go day to day with him until he gets cleared by the doctors.”
Springer backpedaled and reached up to make the catch of a Ryan Braun fly ball as he fell back and landed on his back, the back of his head striking the bottom of the padded wall. Springer was on the ground for several minutes before being helped to his feet. He never lost consciousness and flew home with the team after the game.
Springer missed 27 games earlier this year with a strained left hamstring. He was on the injured list briefly in 2015 after suffering a concussion after running into the wall.
Correa making progress
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa hit flipped baseballs in the batting cage and fielded grounders on the field prior to Thursday’s game as he inches closer to a return. Correa has been on the injured list since Aug. 20 with a sore lower back and said Thursday he’s pain-free.
“We’re going to see how these next couple of days go,” he said. “Obviously, you want to get some games in before the playoffs start, but I’ve been feeling great and doing all the work with no issues at all.”
Correa could see an increase in activity in his baseball drills in the coming days, but the Astros are taking it slow with their star shortstop. In 2018, Correa missed six weeks with a back injury that plagued him into the playoffs.
“We’ve got to take it slowly because I don’t want to rush into it and play a week and then get hurt again and miss the playoffs,” Correa said. “We’re building up for me to play every playoff game we’re going to play. That’s the main goal. Focus on the rehab and get back to 100 percent and show up and keep playing all the way until November. “
• All-Star reliever Ryan Pressly, who had surgery on his right knee late last month, will play catch from the pitcher’s mound Friday for the first time. Hinch said Pressly is “throwing really well, he feels really good. He’s pushing us to do more and more things, which is good.”
• Right-hander Brad Peacock, who went on the injured list Aug. 28 for the second time with right shoulder discomfort, will play catch Friday for the first time since his latest injury setback. He’ll initiate a throwing program over the next week or so and could still pitch before season’s end.
• Right-hander Collin McHugh, who was placed on the IL Aug. 31 with right elbow soreness, still hasn’t played catch since he was sidelined.