HOUSTON – The Astros could welcome All-Star second baseman José Altuve back to the lineup as early as Tuesday. The team said Saturday that Altuve would begin a Minor League rehab assignment Sunday for Triple-A Round Rock at Nashville and will appear in games Sunday and Monday for the Express before being re-evaluated.
Altuve suffered a mild hamstring strain while beating out an infield single May 10 against the Rangers and started running on the field for the first time post-injury last weekend in Boston. Astros president of baseball operations and general manager Jeff Luhnow said Altuve would get four at-bats and play in the field Sunday and perhaps be the designated hitter Monday.
“They have a doubleheader that second day, so he’ll be able to get as many at-bats as he needs,” Luhnow said. “We do a checkpoint after the first night and after the second day and then come back here. We’re hoping to get him in a game here before we leave [for the road trip], but certainly the goal is to have him active and playing every day by the time we get out on the road trip.”
The Astros open a seven-game road trip Friday in Oakland.
Altuve, who’s won three batting titles, is hitting .243, including 15-for-84 in 24 games before getting injured. He underwent surgery Oct. 19 to repair a patella (kneecap) avulsion fracture in his right knee he suffered during the 2018 season, an injury which hampered him in the second half of last year and the playoffs.