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Springer to get 'one more day' before return

Astros supporting Rockets in upcoming playoff series
MLB.com

HOUSTON -- Two days after being hit with a fastball on a bone in his left elbow, Astros All-Star center fielder George Springer's return from a brief injury is soon to come.

Springer was removed from Friday's game shortly after a 92.4-mph fastball from Cole Hamels hit his arm in the third inning. Springer, who cited soreness and was diagnosed with a left elbow contusion, did not play in Saturday's 6-1 win against the Rangers. He is not in the Astros' lineup Sunday, but he was available, manager AJ Hinch said.

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HOUSTON -- Two days after being hit with a fastball on a bone in his left elbow, Astros All-Star center fielder George Springer's return from a brief injury is soon to come.

Springer was removed from Friday's game shortly after a 92.4-mph fastball from Cole Hamels hit his arm in the third inning. Springer, who cited soreness and was diagnosed with a left elbow contusion, did not play in Saturday's 6-1 win against the Rangers. He is not in the Astros' lineup Sunday, but he was available, manager AJ Hinch said.

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"He's doing fine," Hinch said Sunday. "I think if I don't pinch-hit him or pinch-run him, he's probably going to want to fight me today, because he's ready to play.

"I think we'll give him one more day. I'll use him today if the situation presents itself and I feel good about it."

Springer, who's lobbied Hinch to play and said he's doing well, played in each of the Astros' first 40 games this season, batting .296 with 48 hits and 28 RBIs in 162 at-bats. He has reached base safely in 23 of his past 27 games.

Houston begins a three-game series in Anaheim on Monday and, barring any late setbacks, it appears Springer's return is set for Game 1 against the Angels.

"Hopefully he's back in there [Monday]," Hinch said. "He's been bouncing around the clubhouse, and I think he's done a little bit of activity already. He'll be good to go."

Astros pulling for Rockets
Hinch has his outfit all planned out. It's a tearaway jumpsuit, the same easy-to-rip warmup gear the Houston Rockets wear before each game.

"I'm going to pretend to be a 3-point-shooting machine," Hinch said.

Hinch's creative outfit, as provided to him by the Rockets, is a morsel of the festive Rockets gear spread across the Astros' clubhouse Sunday morning. The Rockets begin a seven-game series in the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors on Monday, and the Astros are repaying the support they got en route to the a championship last season.

"Huge, man," outfielder Derek Fisher said. "It's huge for Houston. We were in the same spot last year and we understood how much support mattered -- everybody around us, including [the Rockets] and including the whole city. So the only thing we can do is do the same thing they did for us."

The Astros will wear Rockets gear during their travel day Sunday to Anaheim to mirror the same support the Rockets expressed during their postseason run last fall.

"There's been a big buzz around our club about the Rockets," Hinch said. "I know a couple of their guys have been out to our games, and a couple of our guys have snuck over to some games when they can. We're in full support mode of the Rockets and wish them well. They've got a tough road ahead going through Golden State to try to get to the Finals.

"We're going to wear some Rockets gear out to Anaheim today as a tip of the cap to them and support the best we can. ... You'll see some guys in some jerseys. We've got a few things up our sleeves as to what we're going to wear. It'll be a fun day to support the Rockets."

Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com.

Houston Astros, George Springer