Altuve (left oblique) placed on 10-day IL

July 6th, 2023

HOUSTON -- Despite getting relatively good news about the severity of 's strained left oblique, the Astros placed the star second baseman on the 10-day injured list Thursday. The move is retroactive to Tuesday, which means Altuve would be eligible to be activated on July 14 -- the first game following the All-Star break.

That timetable may be a little aggressive, but the Astros appear to have avoided a long-term injury like the one suffered by slugger Yordan Alvarez, who injured his right oblique June 8 and is still on the injured list. Altuve was scratched from the lineup about 90 minutes prior to Tuesday’s game after he strained his oblique in the batting cage.

“When I swung and I felt it, I thought it would be worse, but the MRI said totally different,” Altuve said. “It’s a minor thing. I’m really happy.”

An MRI performed Wednesday revealed a minor strain, Altuve said.

“Which is good news for me,” he said. “We’ve still got to do a lot of stuff to get back to 100 percent.”

When asked if he could be ready shortly after the All-Star break, Altuve said: “I think, yes. I don’t like talking about timing, but I’m doing everything I can to, like I said all the time this year, to stay on the field. I’m going to go out there and do everything they want me to do and hopefully it’s not going to be much longer than that.”

Altuve missed four games in early June with a right oblique strain, and he said Thursday the strain he suffered on his left side seemed similar. Still, with only four games remaining before the All-Star break, the Astros decided to put him on the IL. They called up backup infielder David Hensley from Triple-A Sugar Land.

Altuve missed the first 43 games of the season after he fractured his right thumb when he was hit by a pitch in the World Baseball Classic. He thinks the oblique injuries are the result of missing so much time earlier in the season.

Altuve has played in only 32 games this year, slashing .264/.371/.479 with six homers and 18 RBIs. When the All-Star break hits, he will have missed 53 games with injuries.

“It’s a nightmare for me this year, coming back from a big injury that I lost two months and then keep missing games,” he said. “It's out of my control, but the only thing I can do is go out there and keep working hard, because I know this is going to be over and I’m going to be 100 percent again and stay healthy the rest of the season.”