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Springer (hamstring) likely headed to injured list

All-Star comes up limping, asks to leave game in 8th inning vs. Red Sox
@brianmctaggart
May 25, 2019

HOUSTON -- While the Astros await a clear diagnosis on what could be a significant left hamstring injury sustained by George Springer, manager AJ Hinch said the All-Star outfielder is likely headed to the injured list, which would be a huge blow to baseball’s best offense. Springer, who returned to

HOUSTON -- While the Astros await a clear diagnosis on what could be a significant left hamstring injury sustained by George Springer, manager AJ Hinch said the All-Star outfielder is likely headed to the injured list, which would be a huge blow to baseball’s best offense.

Springer, who returned to the lineup in Friday’s 4-3 win over the Red Sox after missing the previous four games with a stiff lower back, injured his left hamstring while making a long run into foul territory to chase a Xander Bogaerts foul ball in the eighth inning. Springer converged with two defenders and slid to avoid hitting the wall as the ball bounced off the ground. Springer immediately grabbed his hamstring and asked to leave the game.

“It sucks, to be honest,” Springer said. “It’s hard, but I’ll make it through. I’ve just got to support the team the best way I can.”

Springer was moving around the clubhouse gingerly after the game and was clearly dejected. When asked if Springer would need a stint on the injured list, Hinch said: “It’s likely.”

“I’m not looking forward to the diagnosis, to be honest,” he said. “It doesn’t look very good. He never pulls himself out of a game like that. He was limping from the very beginning. … Our best team has George Springer in the leadoff spot.”

Springer was among the early favorites for the American League Most Valuable Player before suffering a mild back injury swinging the bat against Red Sox starter Chris Sale on Sunday in Boston. He went 0-for-3 with a sac fly in his return Friday at Minute Maid Park before leaving the game with a noticeable limp in the eighth.

“Going for the ball, giving it as much as I can, and the hamstring locked up,” Springer said. “Honestly, don’t have anything more than that. Just will have to see what happens and hope for the best.”

Any extended loss of Springer would be a significant setback to an Astros team with championship aspirations. At 34-18, the Astros have one of baseball’s best records and most lethal lineups, with Springer the tone-setter at the top of the order. He entered Friday leading the AL in homers (17), RBIs (42) and total bases (119) while ranking second in extra-base hits (27), OPS (1.050) and runs (41).

“He’s a huge part of this ballclub,” pitcher Wade Miley said. “I haven’t heard even why he [left the game], but I’m hoping we can get him back healthy. That guy plays the game hard, plays the game the right way and is big piece of this puzzle.”

Springer, the 2017 World Series MVP, played in all 162 games in 2016 but has dealt with several injuries in years past. He sustained a concussion and later a fractured wrist and missed two months in 2015, spent time on the IL with left quad discomfort in 2017 and missed 10 games last year when he sprained his left thumb.

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