Altuve reveals he had COVID-19

April 24th, 2021

HOUSTON – Astros second baseman said Saturday he tested positive for COVID-19 last week, which is why he and four of his teammates were placed on the injured list on April 14. Altuve wasn’t sure how he got the virus, but he was cleared to return to Minute Maid Park on Friday to resume working out with the club.

Astros manager Dusty Baker said it will take a few days for Altuve to be able to get back into baseball shape to return to the lineup. Altuve said he feels good physically and appears to have put the virus behind him, though he didn't say if he had suffered any symptoms. Altuve had to stay away from the club for 10 days before being cleared by Major League Baseball.

“It’s very difficult just to watch the guys play on TV and not be able to be there with them like I normally am,” said Altuve, who had received the first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. “Like I said, I’m happy to be back here.”

Baker aims to get Altuve back in the lineup next week. Altuve can work out with the team before games at Minute Maid Park but can’t stay for the game until he’s activated.

“He looked great in BP,” Baker said. “He’s been running, he’s been throwing and kind of doing boyhood stuff – running in the back yard, throwing against the wall, hitting off the tee. He looked great. It was the first time he took live BP [Friday]. It looks like he got his stroke. But that’s BP. We want to make sure he’s ready physically.”

Altuve, a six-time All-Star, said if he feels good running and swinging the bat, he’ll be set to return to the lineup.

“They haven’t told me when, but I feel really good, so pretty soon,” he said.

Baker said that when Altuve walked into his office Friday in his return to Minute Maid Park, it was like a “beam of sunlight” had walked in.

“That’s what he brings,” he said. “When he’s around, he brings a great attitude and a lot of light. ... To a man, we’re happy to see him. He came in today with more bounce than he had yesterday.”

Altuve, third baseman Alex Bregman, designated hitter Yordan Alvarez, catcher Martín Maldonado and infielder Robel Garcia were all placed on the COVID-19 IL prior to the April 14 game against the Tigers. All but Altuve were activated prior to Tuesday’s game.

Altuve is the second Astros player known to have tested positive for COVID-19 this year. Veteran reliever Pedro Báez, who signed a two-year deal with the Astros in the offseason, tested positive during Spring Training and has been on the injured list since.