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Altuve nearing return; Lopez out until break

HOUSTON -- Astros manager Brad Mills hopes to have starting second baseman Jose Altuve back in the lineup this weekend in Chicago. Altuve left Sunday's game with a strained right hamstring and hasn't been available, except to bunt if needed.

"We're going to run some further tests today to see how well he's progressing, and hopefully that is good news and we hope to have him back fairly shortly," Mills said before Wednesday's game against the Padres. "He's got to pass all those tests."

Mills doesn't want to put Altuve back on the field until he can run at 100 percent. It's unlikely Altuve would return any earlier than Saturday. The Astros are scheduled to arrive in Chicago at 4 a.m. on Friday morning in advance of a 1:20 p.m. game, and Mills doesn't want Altuve to play without being able to take infield or batting practice. Meanwhile, Mills said relief pitcher Wilton Lopez won't return until after the All-Star break. Lopez, who has been out since June 11 with a sprained right elbow, threw in the bullpen for the first time Wednesday. He's scheduled to throw another bullpen in Chicago and next week in Pittsburgh before starting a rehab stint.

Infielder Marwin Gonzalez, a Rule 5 pick, is scheduled to join Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday in Iowa to begin his Minor League rehab stint. He's been out since June 7 with a bruised right heel.

HOUSTON -- Astros manager Brad Mills hopes to have starting second baseman Jose Altuve back in the lineup this weekend in Chicago. Altuve left Sunday's game with a strained right hamstring and hasn't been available, except to bunt if needed.

"We're going to run some further tests today to see how well he's progressing, and hopefully that is good news and we hope to have him back fairly shortly," Mills said before Wednesday's game against the Padres. "He's got to pass all those tests."

Mills doesn't want to put Altuve back on the field until he can run at 100 percent. It's unlikely Altuve would return any earlier than Saturday. The Astros are scheduled to arrive in Chicago at 4 a.m. on Friday morning in advance of a 1:20 p.m. game, and Mills doesn't want Altuve to play without being able to take infield or batting practice. Meanwhile, Mills said relief pitcher Wilton Lopez won't return until after the All-Star break. Lopez, who has been out since June 11 with a sprained right elbow, threw in the bullpen for the first time Wednesday. He's scheduled to throw another bullpen in Chicago and next week in Pittsburgh before starting a rehab stint.

Infielder Marwin Gonzalez, a Rule 5 pick, is scheduled to join Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday in Iowa to begin his Minor League rehab stint. He's been out since June 7 with a bruised right heel.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.