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Gurriel out up to 6 weeks after surgery on hand

Astros first baseman will begin regular season on disabled list
MLB.com @brianmctaggart

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel will be out up to six weeks after undergoing surgery Wednesday morning in Houston to remove the hook of the hamate bone in his left hand. He will start the season on the disabled list.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow called it a "minor setback," and he said Gurriel's fracture was pre-existing but was asymptomatic until recently. Gurriel was scratched from Monday's Grapefruit League game and sent back to Houston on Tuesday to be examined by team doctors.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel will be out up to six weeks after undergoing surgery Wednesday morning in Houston to remove the hook of the hamate bone in his left hand. He will start the season on the disabled list.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow called it a "minor setback," and he said Gurriel's fracture was pre-existing but was asymptomatic until recently. Gurriel was scratched from Monday's Grapefruit League game and sent back to Houston on Tuesday to be examined by team doctors.

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"The right course of action is to just remove it," Luhnow said. "It's a pretty reliable surgery and we know what the outcome is going to be. He should be back to 100 percent once he's recuperated."

Video: MIN@HOU: Hinch discusses roster, Gurriel's surgery

Luhnow said the injury recovery time is typically six weeks from surgery to activation, which means Gurriel would be sidelined until mid-April. Gurriel was already set to serve a five-game suspension to start the season for an insensitive gesture he made toward Yu Darvish during the World Series. The suspension will begin after he's activated from the DL.

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Gurriel homered in his most recent Spring Training at-bat Saturday, though it's unclear when the pain surfaced. The injury is typically caused by swinging a bat. Astros catcher Max Stassi underwent the same procedure two years ago.

With Gurriel out, it creates opportunity for more playing time A.J. Reed, Tyler White or J.D. Davis. One of them will make the club to start the year until Gurriel can return. Luhnow said the team isn't in the market for help at the position. Marwin Gonzalez will get a few more reps at first base, but he will continue to move around and play multiple positions.

"This will open the door for somebody on our roster to play in the big leagues while [Gurriel is] recuperating," Luhnow said. "We knew that was going to be the case anyway with the suspension, but instead of five days, it may be 10 days or 15 days. Whoever gets that spot is going to get more time to prove himself.

Tweet from @brianmctaggart: Yuli Gurriel's Instagram pic.twitter.com/YaqOUr6vl4

"J.D. Davis is having a great spring so far, A.J. Reed is looking good and Tyler White is looking good and playing well. Our guys are motivated. Tony Kemp, whoever it is. ... We feel like we've got the guys internally. We have depth at the positions that Yuli plays. It's a matter we don't have to go outside the organization at this point."

Video: Gurriel to miss several weeks due to hand surgery

Gurriel, who was signed out of Cuba and made his big league debut in 2016, hit .299 with 18 homers and 75 RBIs and recorded the final out of the World Series last year. He started 130 games at first base for the Astros in '17 in his first full season in the big leagues, and manager A.J. Hinch said early in camp he planned to play him at other infield positions.

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

Houston Astros, Yuli Gurriel