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Keuchel out of walking boot, in good spirits

Starter diagnosed with mild sprain in left foot during '17 exit physical
MLB.com @brianmctaggart

HOUSTON -- Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel, in his typical good-natured fashion, feigned a slight limp when he approached a group of reporters Saturday at Minute Maid Park before breaking into laughter and returning to a normal, steady gait.

Keuchel, whose foot injury in the offseason wound up earning him headlines on the gossip site TMZ, said he has been out of a walking boot for the last 10 days or so. A month ago, Keuchel was spotted leaving a West Hollywood, Calif., restaurant wearing a walking boot on his left foot. The team later said he was wearing the boot as a precaution after suffering a minor foot sprain.

HOUSTON -- Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel, in his typical good-natured fashion, feigned a slight limp when he approached a group of reporters Saturday at Minute Maid Park before breaking into laughter and returning to a normal, steady gait.

Keuchel, whose foot injury in the offseason wound up earning him headlines on the gossip site TMZ, said he has been out of a walking boot for the last 10 days or so. A month ago, Keuchel was spotted leaving a West Hollywood, Calif., restaurant wearing a walking boot on his left foot. The team later said he was wearing the boot as a precaution after suffering a minor foot sprain.

Video: Keuchel wearing walking boot, has foot sprain

Keuchel, speaking on Saturday while he assisted teammates Lance McCullers Jr., Josh Reddick, George Springer and Carlos Correa at a youth baseball camp at Minute Maid Park, said he's turned the corner and over his injury.

"I'm almost full bore with everything," he said. "This year, I'm taking a little cardio off until right around Spring Training time because I'm a year older and trying to be a year wiser and not push myself too early, just because the season is so long and if we are going to be in the playoffs again it's going to be an extra month."

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said last month Keuchel pitched with discomfort in his left foot during the postseason and was diagnosed with a mild foot sprain in his exit physical. Keuchel joked with TMZ he hurt his foot in the team's championship parade.

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"It was a conglomerate of things that happened," he said. "I run a lot so that didn't really help either. What I've learned in my old age is you're not as inclined to do everything you once did when you were younger, so I tried to be smarter this offseason and learn about technique and everything associated with it and keeping off my feet as much as I can."

Keuchel has started throwing off flat ground as he typically does after the new year. He was planning to throw later because the season went through Game 7 of the World Series on Nov. 1, but he missed two months in the regular season with a neck injury. Keuchel expects to start throwing off the mound in early February.

"It's a normal offseason for me in terms of routine and throwing-wise," he said.

Keuchel, who turned 30 on New Year's Day, went 14-5 with a 2.90 ERA for the Astros in the regular season. He was named to the American League All-Star team after going 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA in the first half of the season. He made five starts in the playoffs and was 2-2 with a 3.58 ERA, including 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA in two World Series starts.

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

Houston Astros, Dallas Keuchel