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Appel recovering after emergency appendectomy

HOUSTON -- Pitcher Mark Appel, the No. 1 overall pick in last year's First-Year Player Draft, is recovering after undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Thursday.

In a release, the Astros said the procedure was standard, "with no complications." Appel is expected to report to Spring Training on time, with Astros pitchers and catchers set to arrive on Feb. 15. The recovery time for an appendectomy for baseball players is typically two to three weeks.

"Mark will be fine," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "He will report to camp on time. Once he arrives in Spring Training, we'll see where he is at health-wise and take it from there. We anticipate that he will either be ready to work out at the start of camp or very close to ready."

After throwing 106 1/3 innings at Stanford, Appel was held to 10 starts in his professional debut last year. He went 3-1 with a 3.79 ERA between Class A Quad Cities (eight games) and short-season Tri-City (two games), and he should see a full load in 2014 in his first full season.

In other health news, left-hander Raul Valdes underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Thursday in Houston. He will also report with pitchers and catchers on Feb. 15 and is expected to have a recovery time between four and six weeks. He was claimed off waivers this past October.

Valdes made 17 appearances, including one start, in two stints with the Phillies last season. He posted solid numbers with Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 14 starts in 2013, compiling a 4-5 record and a 2.86 ERA.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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